Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Parents, be sure that dropoff and pickup are done safely

Here's a reminder to parents and guardians who drive their children to school to be sure to observe traffic patters and rules in and around your child's school.

Traffic can be an issue during the busy morning and afternoon hours, creating a mix of carloads of children, kids walking to school, kids riding bicycles to schools, school buses and other general neighborhood traffic.

"Most of our schools have specific traffic rules and routes for dropoff and pickup," said Chief Ruben Littlejohn of the San Diego Unified School District School Police Department. "These rules are designed to keep not only our students safe, but the drivers and vehicles moving in an orderly fashion."

For example, some schools have specific drop off and pickup areas. Parents are reminded to use these areas only, even if it seems an alternative might be just as safe or quicker. "Cutting" the line or dropping off children in the middle of the street are dangerous practices.

Drivers also need to observe not only student Safety Patrol traffic guards where on duty, but school staff directing traffic. The rules and situation at each school are unique to that campus.

"In many cases, traffic engineers have created the flow that is safest," said Littlejohn. "We ask that parents and guardians dropping off students be patient and follow the procedures."

Many schools are participating in the International Walk and Bike to School Day on Oct. 9. Your school's principal is a good place to start to find out more information about traffic plans and safe walking routes.