Sammamish offers safety reminders to drivers
September 14, 2012 · 4:27 PM
With the return of the school year, the City of Sammamish released a series of safety reminders to drivers, parents and students.
When driving near school buses, remember:
It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and its stop arm is extended.
On undivided roadways, with no physical barrier or median, vehicles must stop on both sides of the roadway.
Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and children are getting on or off. Motorists approaching from either direction must wait until the red lights stop flashing before proceeding.
Please share these tips with your children if he or she is walking to school or taking the school bus.
When riding the school bus:
Wait for your bus, away from traffic and the street, at the school district’s assigned bus stop.
If you have to cross the street to board the bus, watch and wait for the driver to signal that it is safe to cross.
Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter.
When being dropped off, exit the bus and walk ten giant steps away from the bus. Keep a wide distance between you and the bus. Also, remember that the bus driver can see you best when you are away from the bus.
If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk at least ten feet ahead of the bus along the side of the road, until you can turn around and see the driver.
Make sure that the driver can see you.
Wait for a signal from the driver before beginning to cross. When the driver signals, walk across the road, keeping an eye out for sudden traffic changes.
Do not cross the centerline of the road until you have double checked that traffic has stopped.
Be aware of the street traffic around you. Drivers are required to follow certain rules of the road concerning school buses, however, not all do. Protect yourself and be on the look out
Use the handrail to enter and exit the bus.
When walking to school:
Cross the street at marked crosswalks and intersection whenever possible.
Always stop at the curb or the edge of the road and look left, then right, and then left again before crossing. Continue looking in this manner until you are able to cross safely.
With your parents, choose the quickest and safest route with the fewest street crossings.
If you are a designated walking school, your school district can provide recommendations on safe walking routes.
Use intersections with crossing guards when possible.
If vision is blocked by a parked car or other obstacle, pedestrians should move out to where drivers can see them and they can see other vehicles -- then stop, and look left, right - left again.
Obey and follow all traffic signals and/or the crossing guard.
Never cross the street against a light, even if you don't see any traffic coming.
Walk your bike through intersections.
Walk with a buddy.
Wear reflective material...it makes you more visible to street traffic.
Tips for parents and other motorists:
Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks – it’s Washington State Law. Crosswalks exist at all
intersections – even if they are unmarked.
Remember pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks; motorists must yield to them when turning. Stop for pedestrians when making a right-turn-on-red or left-turn on full green, leaving enough room at intersections so that pedestrians can cross safely.
Drivers must vigilantly watch the roadway at all times, and always follow the speed limit, which may be lowered in designated school zones.
Drivers need to remember the unpredictability of children and be on the lookout for all pedestrians.
And remember, make sure you and your passengers are buckled up properly. Seat belts are your number one defense in a crash.
Here are the facts on speed. When you increase your speed, you increase the distance it takes to stop your vehicle. The chart below demonstrates how long it takes to see an obstacle, react to the obstacle (hit your brakes) and come to a full stop with your brakes applied. The chart was calculated by the Major Accident Response and Reconstruction unit of the King County Sheriff’s Office. The distances are a scientific fact and have been thoroughly tested.