Archived News Release from 2008
For Immediate Release
Parents Encouraged to Learn Best Practices for Safe Drop Off/Pick Up as New School Year Begins
Redwood City, CA - August 22, 2008 - As the 2008-2009 school year gets underway, Redwood City reminds parents and caregivers of the importance of keeping safety in mind during the drop off and pick up of children at local schools. Using safe practices will also decrease the impact that back-to-school traffic has on neighborhood residents. A website with lots of safety information, school drop off procedures, and links to other resources is at www.redwoodcity.org/schools.
The beginning of each school year brings new parents into Redwood City Schools. Often, it takes parents several weeks to become familiar with the best locations and times to drop off/pick up their children. This confusion can create dangerous situations in which children cross the street at unsafe locations, walk between cars, or face increased risks even when crossing at designated crosswalks. Additionally, parents in a hurry sometimes park in bus zones, and in front of private driveways, creating problems for neighbors of the school.
There are a number of “best practices” for dropping off and picking up kids at any school:
- Learn the procedure – Each school has its own specific procedure for drop off and pick up, that has been designed to move cars and kids in and out most efficiently; but these procedures only work if motorists follow them closely. Everyone dropping off or picking up kids from school has the responsibility to know the procedures. Ask your school’s principal or other school staff member for the written procedure and map for Safe Drop Off and Pick Up, then help to spread the word by reminding other motorists. Always observe all official signs and instructions by school staff during drop off or pick up.
- Use only designated drop off locations – each school has a designated location to drop off and pick up kids; drivers should use only that location.
- Do not park across the street from the drop location – having kids crossing the streets mid-block is dangerous, especially with all the other cars coming in to drop off kids, and it’s unfair to nearby neighbors who may already be experiencing high levels of traffic.
- Do not use the school’s bus loading zone – this zone is for school buses only, and dropping kids off at this location is not only dangerous, it also slows down the flow of all the other cars, and any buses coming in.
- Allow extra time – everyone is very busy, but that’s no excuse to put our kids’ safety at risk – leave a few minutes early to allow ample time for drop off and pick up. Just a few minutes can make a great difference, and help to make the traffic circulation around schools more efficient for everyone.
- Be courteous and respectful of neighbors – you can reduce the traffic and parking impact on residents living near a school drop off location by following all procedures, and by being sure to never park in front of driveways. Treat these neighbors in the way you’d like to be treated if you lived across the street from a school!
- Get involved – become a school volunteer and help to distribute drop off/pick up information, promote appropriate procedures among motorists, or monitor the traffic flow during drop off and pick up. Ask your school how best to get involved.
- Have the kids walk to and from school – if feasible, this is a great way to help kids get fresh air and exercise, and stay healthy – and it will significantly reduce the number of cars around the school and neighborhood. The little ones should be accompanied on their walk. Biking to school is also a great alternative.
The Redwood City website has more information and links to other web pages that may be helpful to parents and caregivers who drop off or pick up kids – redwoodcity.org/schools. Also go to the Redwood City School District web page at http://rcsd.ca.campusgrid.net/home for more information on this and other school issues.
Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business. Take a look at the variety of City webcams at www.redwoodcity.org/webcam , and subscribe to Redwood City’s newsletters or other City documents at www.redwoodcity.org/egov .
Public Communications Manager