School + Traffic = Safety Tips

Around town, children and parents will be getting ready for the start of the new school year later this month. Now is a good time for parents to educate their children about bus, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and prepare them for a safe school year.

It is up to everyone to create and maintain a safe environment. Drivers need to pay extra attention on the road due to an increase in traffic during this time of year and throughout the school year. When dropping children off at school, parents/caregivers are reminded to obey all traffic laws. Everyone needs to be vigilant and utilize patience when near a school.

Sergeant Henebry with the Goleta Police Department’s Traffic Unit provides these tips:

Pedestrian Safety Tips for Children

  • Walk to school with a group of kids and always have a responsible adult walk with you.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available. If no sidewalk is available, walk facing the traffic.
  • The safest place to cross is at a street corner or intersection.
  • If you are 10 years old or younger, you need to cross the street with an adult. You should not cross by yourself. Ask an adult to explain to you who can help you cross the street.
  • Before you step off the curb to cross the street, stop and look left, look right, and look left again to see if cars are coming.
  • When no cars are coming, it is safe for you and an adult to cross. But look left-right-left as you do it, and hold the adult’s hand.
  • Always walk when crossing the street. Never run across the street to catch a ball or chase a toy, a friend, or a pet.
  • Darting out in front of a parked car is dangerous. The driver of the car coming down the street can’t see you.
  • Cross at corners and use crosswalks whenever possible; always stay within the lines of the crosswalk.
  • Never go for a walk with a stranger. Only walk with someone who your parents say is okay.

Good Driver Tips for Parents

  • Allow Extra Time: Do not arrive late or at the last minute. Prepare the night before and leave your house early so you do not need to rush.
  • Reduce Speed: The maximum speed near a school is 25 miles per hour. However, slower speeds are recommended when children are present. Some school areas in Goleta have a maximum speed of 15 mph. Please obey all speed laws for speed as this is the number one cause of collisions around schools.
  • Obey Stop Signs: Make a complete stop. Be vigilant. Look for children stepping off the sidewalk.
  • No Double Parking: Double parking impedes traffic flow. Never let a child exit a double parked vehicle.
  • Avoid U-Turns: U-turns near the school cause congestion. Do so only at an intersection if permitted.
  • Do Not Park in a Red Zone: The curb is red due to safety reasons. Parking in the red often obstructs the view of other drivers which could result in a collision with a child or other vehicle.