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Keeping Kids Safe- from the city of Santa Clara

How to Drive In and Around School Zones

As back-to-school season is in full effect, remember to safely share the roads with school buses, pedestrians and bicyclists.  

  • Expect increased traffic in and around school zones;
  • Reduce your speed to a maximum of 25mph;
  • Yield to bicyclists and pedestrians;
  • Always follow the directions of the crossing guard;
  • Do not make U-turns across double yellow lines, it is illegal;
  • Be prepared for the unexpected –children can be unpredictable (e.g. darting out into the street) or may ignore potential hazards (e.g. bicyclists looking for car doors opening from parked cars);
  • Yield right of way to buses at all times and make sure to stop when their lights/stop sign are deployed;
  • Be respectful of student safety patrol and parent volunteers helping to monitor school safety; and,
  • Do not park in red zones, handicap areas or block a crosswalk – even if just for a minute. 

If you have a specific concern, it can be reported to the Santa Clara Police Department online.

Safe Routes to School

Walk   Roll logo

Why Safe Routes to School?

The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs promote walking and bicycling to school in a safe and healthy environment.  Here are the top 5 reasons to support a Safe Routes to School Program in our school. 

  • Eases traffic congestion near schools, making schools safer.
  • Improves air quality near schools.
  • Physically active children perform better in school.
  • Physical activity like walking and bicycling, along with better food choices, fight the growing obesity epidemic among U.S. children, and improves overall health.
  • Builds a strong sense of neighborhood and community

For more information about Safe Routes to School visit the Santa Clara County Public Health Department website at

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Traffic Safe Communities Network staff:
Alisa Arce at (408) 793-2710 or
Tonya Veitch at (408) 793-2798 or


Operation Safe Passage

Three times a year, law enforcement agencies across Santa Clara County work together for “Operation Safe Passage” (OSP), targeted enforcement in school zones. These enforcement weeks usually take place after school begins in the Fall, after Christmas break and after Spring break. In an attempt to keep children safer, law enforcement officers step up enforcement and cite violators in school zones during each of these one week periods.  Typical violations include speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign, passing a school bus with flashing lights, failure to use child seat restraints, failure to use seat belts, failure to yield to a pedestrian, jaywalking, and failure to wear a required bicycle helmet. Operation Safe Passage occurs three times a year, but safety violations occur all of the time. Please keep our children safe.  Obey all traffic safety rules and encourage your children to do the same. For more information about OSP, contact your local law enforcement agency.

Safe Kids USA

Tips for driving safely

· Stop for pedestrians – it’s the law in California

· Make eye contact with a pedestrian before proceeding through a crosswalk

· Never pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk—assume they are stopped for a pedestrian

· Focus on the Road – You are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash if you are texting while driving

Tips for walking safely

· Walk on the sidewalk or walk facing traffic where there is no sidewalk

· Cross at the corner or marked crosswalk whenever possible

· At signals, start crossing the street only when you have the “walk” signal

· Watch for traffic even in a marked crosswalk with the “walk” signal – make eye contact with drivers who are approaching before stepping into the street

· Don’t be a distracted walker—turn off headphones and pay attention when crossing the street

Tips for biking safely

· Bicyclists follow the same traffic laws required for motor vehicles which includes riding on the ride side of the road with the flow of traffic

· Sidewalk riding is permitted in some cities for children. When on the sidewalk, travel slowly, yield to pedestrian and be aware of cars backing out of driveways

· Be predictable – Use hand signals for turning and stopping

· Walk your bike in the crosswalk to avoid conflicts with pedestrians and turning cars that might not be looking for bicyclists in the crosswalk

· Wear light colored outer clothing, preferably with reflective strips, and always wear a helmet