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Back to School Tips

Back to School Tips

As students and parents get back into the school routine, traffic safety is just as important as school supplies and bell schedules. The Santa Clara Police Department urges parents to review these reminders and talk to students about getting to and from school safely.

For Drivers

Budget extra travel time. School areas are congested. Allow more time than is needed to get where you are going. Be aware of speed in school zones. The posted speed limit in school zones is 25 MPH.

Yield to crossing guards – an integral part of school traffic plans. Be aware of their presence, listen to instructions and follow traffic safety laws.


Stay alert and pay extra attention in “hot spots” like school zones, crosswalks, bike lanes, bus stops and school parking lots.

Don’t text while driving. Don’t talk on your phone or send text messages while you are driving. Yield to school buses. Don’t try to overtake a school bus – it’s a moving violation. If a bus has a flashing red light, you are legally required to stop and wait for the light to turn off.

Expect the unexpected. Children are unpredictable. Kids are walking, riding a bicycle, crossing streets and “horsing around” on their way to and from school. They have the potential to dart out unexpectedly, and may not be proficient bicycle riders. Again, be aware.

For Students and Pedestrians

Exercise crosswalk safety. Cross streets only at crosswalks or stoplights and always look both ways before crossing. Use the buddy system. Parents should know their children’s planned route, maintain current contact information for children’s walking buddies and be sure to communicate if children won’t be joining buddies.

Avoid danger zones. Pedestrians also need to stay alert in hot spots – cross walks, school parking lots, intersections and bus zones. Children need to understand drivers’ “blind spot” and how to avoid it. Bikers need to wear bike safety equipment – helmets, light-colored clothing and reflective devices.

Just like drivers, bike riders and pedestrians shouldn’t text, talk on the phone, read email, or visit social media pages. It’s just as distracting and significantly increases the chances of being hit by a vehicle, falling and missing street hazards.


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