Back to school…already?!

School starts tomorrow! (Farewell summer. Sad face.) With this comes lots of kiddos walking and biking to school – let’s look out for our littlest commuters.

Kids walking to school in West Seattle.

It’s up to us grown-ups to set good examples for our kids. Following the rules of the road, no matter how we’re getting around, will help us reach our Vision Zero goal of ending traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030.

Check out these tips to make sure we can all kick off the school year safely:

  • Put your phone and all other distractions away while driving. On the road, off the phone. Learn about the statewide distracted driving law.
  • Is there a school in your neighborhood? Remember all school zones have a 20 MPH speed limit when children are present in the morning and afternoon. As of last year, all residential (non-arterial) streets have a speed limit of 20 MPH all day, every day.
  • Keep a look out for yellow school buses. When the red lights flash and the stop sign paddle is activated, vehicles on both sides of the road must come to a complete stop until the bus begins moving again.
  • Have you talked with your child about how he or she will get to school this year? Having a conversation about safety, the rules of the road, and routes to school is essential toward increasing their awareness of traffic safety.
  • Talk to staff at your child’s school for resources about the safest routes for students to walk and bike to school.
  • If you have a child who will be biking to school, make sure they are properly equipped with a helmet, bike light, and reflective gear to ensure their safety. Have a conversation about the road rules while biking and the safest route to school. Need a bike light for you or your child, let us know and we’ll hook you up! Email allison.schwartz@seattle.gov.

How does your child get to school? Walking or biking can be a great habit to start this school year! Kids who walk or bike to school are more attentive in class, gain physical and mental health benefits through physical exercise, and have a better understanding of traffic safety.

You can also learn more about our Safe Routes to School Program.