Snohomish County Sheriff's Office

Message from the Sheriff
school bus back to school safety

Summer is over and our county's children are headed back to school. Snohomish County drivers: please be extra cautious over the next few weeks!  School buses are back on the roads, kids are on bikes hurrying to get to school, and harried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work. It's important to remember to slow down and pay attention when driving, especially at the times when school starts and ends.

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians 

  • Don't block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this forces them into the path of moving traffic.
  • In a school zone when flashers are blinking, always stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.
  • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign.
  • Don't honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way.
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
  • Always use extreme caution around young pedestrians, no matter who has the right-of-way; they may not understand the rules of the road.

Sharing the Road with School Buses

  • It is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
  • Allow a greater following distance behind a bus than if you were driving behind a car. It gives you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. 
  • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you're on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children.
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop.
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.
  • Be alert; children can be unpredictable, and may dash out into the roadway from buses and bus stops unexpectedly.

Thank you for your help in keeping our county’s youngest residents safe this back-to-school season!

-Sheriff Ty Trenary

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