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School year begins Thursday Aug. 30; walk and drive safely

August 29, 2018 - by Augusta DeVries

Category What's Happening

School year begins Thursday; walk and drive safely

It's hard to believe it's that time of year again! School starts tomorrow, and the Bellevue Police and Transportation departments want to ensure you and your family get where you need to go safely. Take note of changing traffic patterns due to the opening of the new Wilburton Elementary School near Downtown Bellevue, and take extra precautions as construction on sidewalks and nearby streets is still wrapping up. 

Bellevue Police remind motorists that when yellow lights are flashing in school speed zones, the speed limit is reduced to 20 mph. In other school zones, the 20-mph limit is in effect when children are present, so be prepared to slow down and watch out for students. Also, remember to stop for school buses when lights are flashing or the stop sign is out — or be prepared to pay a substantial fine.

Wilburton Elementary Image Credit: City of Bellevue 

Here are some safety tips for drivers and pedestrians from the Bellevue Police Department:

  • Slow down in school zones. The stopping distance of a vehicle traveling 30 mph is nearly twice the stopping distance of a vehicle traveling 20 mph.
  • Pay attention while driving. Washington’s distracted driving law makes it illegal to use a handheld personal electronic device while driving, even when stopped at a traffic sign or signal or stuck in traffic. Fines are moving violations that are reported to insurance companies.
  • Watch for pedestrians when entering a school driveway or turning a corner.
  • Stop for children and other pedestrians getting on and off school buses. It’s unlawful to pass a school bus when the red lights are flashing.
  • Stop behind the crosswalk at intersections to allow room for pedestrians. Pedestrians should use crosswalks and cross with the crossing sign or light.
  • If your kids walk to school, make sure they know the rules of the road and your expectations.

And lastly, if you have school-aged children, be sure to consider all transportation options as you plan your route to school. BellevueSchoolPool is now in its third year. The program is an effort to reduce traffic congestion around district schools by facilitating carpooling, biking and walking to school. It’s a partnership between the district, city, King County and TransManage, the Bellevue Downtown Association’s transportation arm.

Originally published at 8/29/18