Students in the Bellevue School District head back to class on Thursday, Aug. 31, to begin the 2017-2018 school year. Bellevue’s police and transportation departments coordinate with the school district to make sure students, parents and commuters can reach their destinations safely.
Start times vary by school and can be found on the district web page. Allowing a little extra time to reach schools and jobs is recommended, especially for the first few days of the school year.
For the second year, a program called Bellevue SchoolPool will operate in the district. It’s an effort to reduce traffic congestion around schools by facilitating carpooling, biking and walking to school. This year, the program has been expanded to include all schools in the district. SchoolPool is a partnership between the school district, city, King County and TransManage, the Bellevue Downtown Association’s transportation arm.
Bellevue police remind motorists that when yellow lights are flashing in school speed zones, the speed limit is reduced to 20 mph. In other school zones, the 20-mph limit is in effect when children are present, so be prepared to slow down and watch out for students. Also, remember to stop for school buses when lights are flashing or the stop sign is out — or be prepared to pay a substantial fine.
The city’s photo enforcement cameras will operate during school hours at Odle Middle School, Lake Hills Elementary School and Sunset Elementary School.
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 vehicle traveling 20 mph.
- Pay attention while driving. The state’s new distracted driving law went into effect on July 23, making it illegal to use a handheld personal electronic device while driving, even when stopped at a traffic sign or signal or stuck in traffic.
- 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.
- 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.