08-31-09 Back to School Means Slow Down in School Zones!
Boise, August 31, 2009 - Boise and Meridian Schools are back in regular session beginning today, and Boise Police remind motorists flashing yellow lights mean slow down!
"The flashing yellow lights go on when it's most likely children are or going from school," said Officer Rick Burch of the Boise Police Motors Unit, the unit dedicated to traffic control and enforcement.
"A school zone is where children on foot, children on bikes, and vehicles all come together. Kids behavior can be unpredictable, so it's up to motorists, who are adults, to watch for kids and slow down to 20 mph. No one wants an expensive ticket, but more importantly, no driver wants to hit and hurt a child." said Officer Burch.
Motorists are urged to remember:
- The speed limit in school zones is 20 mph. School zones in Boise City are marked with flashing yellow lights when the slower speed limit is in effect. The fine for speeding in a Boise City School Zone is $141.50.
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian before crossing a crosswalk carries a $75 fine.
- Failing to stop for a school bus is a misdemeanor, with a fine between $100 and $500.
If a school bus has it's red lights flashing and/or the bus stop sign arm extended:
- on a 3 lane road or less (for example, a two lane road with a turn lane) traffic in BOTH directions must stop.
- on a 4 lane road or more, only traffic moving in the same direction as the school bus must stop.
Parents are also reminded to go over traffic safety rules with their children, remembering that children often need safety lessons repeated for them to learn!
- Set a good example by always following the traffic safety rules yourself. Children learn by example.
- Choose the safest route to school and walk it with your child prior to allowing them to travel it on their own.
- Always look both ways before crossing the street.
- Cross in the crosswalks at the corner, not in the middle of the block.
- Never cross from between parked cars. Never cross an intersection diagonally.
- Cross the street with the Crossing Guard whenever possible.
- Children should look to see that drivers are aware of them. Making eye contact with a driver is a good way to know whether a driver is aware that someone is about to cross the road.
- Cross quickly – do not linger or play in the street.
- Remember the same rules (look both ways, use crosswalks, etc) apply when riding a bike.
- Walk bicycles, skateboards and scooters across the crosswalk.
- Be careful in parking lots – look out for the cars as they may not be able to see you. Never walk or run in front of cars.
- Teach children the meaning of traffic signs. Stop at all stop signs, red lights, and obey traffic signals. When the intersection has crossing signals, only cross when the walk signal is lit.
- When walking on sidewalks, be aware of driveways and alleys from which cars may emerge.
- Bright colored clothing increases visibility, but when walking/biking near dusk reflective tape should be used on jackets, backpacks, bikes, etc.