With back to school just around the corner, the Irvine Police Department Traffic Officers would like to remind everyone about some important safety tips. Listed below are some of the most common traffic, pedestrian, and parking concerns that our Traffic Officers observe near schools.
Tips for Pedestrian Safety
- If your child walks to school, it is important to teach him or her to recognize and obey traffic signals, signs, and pavement markings.
- Remind your children to cross streets only at designated crosswalks, street corners, and traffic controlled intersections.
- Always look both ways before crossing the street and never enter streets from between obstacles like parked cars, shrubbery, signs, etc.
- Always walk – never run – across intersections.
Tips for Bicycle Safety
- Did you know that helmets reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85%? If your child rides a bike to school, make sure the helmet is fitted properly and the chin strap is snug.
- If possible, try to ride with someone else. There is safety in numbers.
- Never use electronics while riding, as they can be distracting.
- Choose the safest route between home and school and practice it with children until they can demonstrate traffic safety awareness (whether they are walking OR riding). A detailed map of designated Suggested Routes to School is available on the City’s website at https://www.cityofirvine.org/irvine-police-department/suggested-routes-school.
Tips for Driver Safety
- When approaching a school zone, vehicle and pedestrian traffic will increase. The maximum speed limit in a school zone is 25 mph.
- Watch for pedestrians not only in crosswalks, but possibly crossing in the middle of the street.
- You must stop when a crossing guard is in the crosswalk and may not proceed even if the pedestrians made it across. You must wait until the crossing guard is safely back on the sidewalk. Disobeying a crossing guard is an automatic point on your driving record.
- If you are dropping off your child, plan for delays and allow yourself an extra 10 to 15 minutes.
- Do not allow children to get out of the car in the middle of the street. Drop children off in designated locations.
- Remember to slow down and make complete stops at stop signs. When a school bus is stopped with lights flashing, cars are not allowed to pass on either side.
- If you are turning right and a bicyclist is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals.
- Avoid parking near intersections. Most of them are red zoned and/or contain a wheelchair ramp. Pay attention to the signs/markings at the curb. Parking at/near intersections decreases the visibility for drivers and increases the risks for pedestrians crossing the street.
If you live near a school, it can be frustrating with the increase of traffic during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up. Please be patient, and should you need assistance regarding traffic issues, please call the Irvine Police Department non-emergency line at 949-724-7000.