By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
Area schools are now in session and drivers should take extra care when in school zones, nearing crosswalks, and passing school buses.
Mill Creek Police officers and Snohomish County Sheriff’s deputies will be out in force, making sure students make it to and from school safely. Traffic infractions are extra costly if tickets are issued.
School zones are clearly posted and here are some things to remember when entering them:
- The speed limit is 20 miles per hour either when students are present, or when the lights on signs are flashing.
- “When children are present,” means when they are standing or walking along the roadway, either on the adjacent sidewalk, or in the absence of sidewalks, on the shoulder within the posted school speed limit zone.
- When you see kids on the sidewalks along the road, slow down a bit even if it is outside normal school hours.
Be cautious at crosswalks, even if they are outside school zones. As a reminder, Washington State’s Crosswalk Law stipulates vehicles must stop if a pedestrian is in their half of the roadway. Here are the rules
- Vehicles must stop if a pedestrian is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway in which they are traveling or onto which they are turning.
- Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.
- Once a pedestrian is beyond one lane of the half of the roadway, the vehicles may go.
School buses will be transporting kids to and from school and cars must stop in certain situations. Here is a graphic illustrating the rules:
Be careful when passing school buses. Graphic courtesy of the City of Bellevue Traffic Department.