Driving Safety Around Schools: Take it Slow and Be Aware

Pleasanton Police urge parents to be prepared, be aware and to slow down around schools.


Submitted by: City of Pleasanton and Pleasanton Police

Another school year in Pleasanton begins on August 28, 2012. The first couple of weeks of school can be hectic and stressful for both parents and students, and all drivers, pedestrians and cyclists must adapt to a higher volume of traffic on the roads.

The would like to take this time to revisit some traffic safety tips for getting students to and from their schools safely. Typically bicyclists, pedestrians, and car traffic substantially increase on and about the immediate areas around our schools.  Between the increased amounts of traffic, the stress of running late for school and/or work, and inattention to your immediate surroundings, the hour just before school and just after school provides the perfect recipe for the possibility of being involved in a collision.

To increase roadway safety during these periods we offer the following suggestions:

  1. Give yourself plenty of time in the morning!  As traffic volumes and congestion on the roadways increase, so does the length of time it takes to travel to your destination.  Giving yourself more time, by leaving earlier, reduces stress, increases your awareness, and improves your driving.Obey the posted speed limit signs and directional signs.  This includes marked curbs.  These signs and curb markings assist in the traffic flow into and out of the schools and assist in the safety of the students who walk and bike to school. One misplaced car can disrupt the traffic flow and the safety of our students. 
  2. Obey the rules of the road.  Most drivers become “lazy” with their driving habits. Instead of stopping behind the limit line, at stop signs or red lights, especially when making a right hand turn, most drivers stop well beyond the limit line. This is not only illegal but it puts bicyclists and pedestrians at risk of being hit by a car as they attempt to leave the sidewalk and cross the street.
  3. Be patient! Impatience leads to aggressive driving, rude or unwarranted behavior, pedestrian and bicycle collisions, and it creates traffic gridlocks.  Remember, everyone has the same goal in mind, to get our children safely to and from school.  Also remember, the habits you exhibit in your driving and demeanor are typically passed on to your children when they start driving.
  4. If you are driving your children to school, have them ready to leave the car, with all of their belongings, when you come to a stop at the school. Backups and delays are caused when children have to get their backpacks and other items from the trunk or back seat of a car.Explore other alternatives such as carpool, ride-sharing, walking, or biking to school. Over the years, the City of Pleasanton and the Pleasanton Unified School District have collaborated to develop a variety of successful traffic calming solutions. Get involved with your school traffic safety committee to assist with traffic calming programs for your schools.
  5. Watch and obey the school crossing guards.  Crossing guards are provided to assist in the safe crossing of your students across the surrounding streets near each elementary school. Be on the lookout, be prepared to stop, and be prepared to follow their directions so our children can get to and from school safely.

The Pleasanton Police Traffic Bureau and patrol officers will be increasing their efforts at all of the schools in Pleasanton for the next several weeks.  Please help us, your children, and yourselves by following the rules of the road.

Please call the Pleasanton Police Department at (925) 931-5100 to report any traffic safety concerns. 



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