It’s back to school time – slow down and watch out!

As more than 20-thousands Bellevue students head back to school on September 4th, it’s time to slow down and pay attention in school zones. Back to schoolBellevue Police remind drivers that the speed limit is 20 mph in school zones with flashing yellow lights. In school zones without flashing lights, the speed limit is 20 mph when children are present. Increased congestion and the unpredictability of younger children make school zones particularly dangerous.

There are three school zones in the Bellevue School District with photo enforcement cameras. If you are caught going faster than the 20-mph posted limit in those zones when the yellow lights are flashing, you’ll receive a $124 fine in the mail.  The photo enforcement cameras are located at Stevenson Elementary School, Lake Hills Elementary School, and Sunset Elementary School.  Last year, the photo enforcement cameras resulted in over 5,000 citations.

School Bus stop signSchool buses will also be on the roads again carrying precious cargo. You must stop for school buses when lights are flashing, or the stop sign is out. That applies to both directions of traffic on a two-way road. Oncoming traffic on a four-lane street can proceed with caution.

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 car traveling 20 mph.
  • Pick your children up at the designated area, not in the street.
  • Pay attention while driving. It is illegal to drive and use a personal handheld device under Washington’s distracted driving law, even when stopped at a traffic sign or signal or stuck in traffic. These fines are moving violations and 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.  For more click here.
  • 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.

Have a great school year and be safe!

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