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With Kids Back in School, a Reminder to Slow Down When Driving

Friday, September 8, 2017

A crossing guard holds a stop sign as children walk in a crosswalk in front of stopped cars.

September is Pedestrian Safety Month in California, and with kids back in school, it’s a good time to again remind ourselves what we can do to keep everyone safe – especially to slow down and pay close attention when driving.

Now that school is back in session, it’s especially important for drivers to watch for young kids who may still be learning to navigate our streets safely on foot and bike. That goes double when driving in school zones, passing Muni stops and approaching crosswalks, marked or unmarked.

For our part, we’re working with our partners to deploy crossing guards where they’re needed most and improve programs that make it safer and easier for students to get to school by bike and by Muni.

Last month, we joined Mayor Ed Lee, the SF Police Department and other city partners in announcing boosted traffic enforcement for the first week of school around 10 schools near streets with documented concerns about unsafe speeding. Police officers focused enforcement on speeding and other driving violations that jeopardize the safety of people walking and biking, including failure to yield to pedestrians and bike lane violations.

Of course, we encourage students and everyone else to get around in healthy, sustainable ways like walking, biking, taking transit and carpooling if they can. San Francisco’s Safe Routes to Schools website has resources to make those options easier for school trips.

If you do need to drive your children to school, here are a few safety reminders from the Safe Routes to Schools Back to School Safety Tips (PDF):

  • Pull into a passenger loading zone for drop-off. If there is no passenger loading zone or no space available, park in a legal parking space further away. Walking is healthy.
  • Drop your child off at the curb on the school side of the street rather than crossing into oncoming traffic or having your child run across the street.
  • Have your child sit on the passenger side with their backpack so they can get out of the car easily, quickly and safely.
  • Talk about crossing safely: Cross at corners, look all ways before crossing, and never run across the street.

By the way, don’t forget – Walk and Roll to School Day is coming up on Wednesday, October 4.