Refresher course: Back-to-school rules of the road

As classes resume, here’s what you need to know about school zones, school buses and more.

Most schools resume classes this week, so it’s a good time to review roadway courtesy and safety tips — especially if a new school is on your driving route.

This fall, those new schools include Stevens Creek Elementary School, which opens to students near Highway 9 and Highway 92 in Lake Stevens. Also this fall, Lynnwood Elementary and Mountlake Terrace Elementary students move back to their newly rebuilt campuses — on 44th Avenue West and 52nd Avenue West, respectively — making those active school zones again.

School zones

The speed limit near schools is 20 mph, but when that limit is in effect can be confusing, depending on what signs say. Best bet? If you’re near a school or see a kid with a backpack, slow down. It takes less than 30 seconds of your day.

Related stories:

What ‘when children are present’ means in a school zone

20 mph or not? School zone rules, explained

School buses

Drivers typically must stop for a school bus when it has its stop sign extended and red lights are flashing, but not always. If you’re driving in the opposite direction on a divided roadway or four-lane road, for example, you can keep going.

You can now shake your head knowingly when you see your fellow motorist stop for a school bus across three lanes and a raised median full of ornamental grasses.

Related story:

Back-to-school rules for following school buses

Basic rules

Regardless of whether it’s a kid or near a school, drivers should be stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks. Looking at your smartphone while driving irks bus drivers and is against the law anyway. And most safety experts recommend turning on your headlights, even in the daytime.

Related story:

School-bus drivers say they fear for kids as cars speed by

Street Smarts: streetsmarts@heraldnet.com, 425-339-3432 

Talk to us

More in Local News

The entrance to the new free COVID vaccination site at the Everett Mall on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Free mass-vaccination site opens Tuesday at Everett Mall

Hundreds of appointments are up for grabs at the state-run site, which will offer initial doses, boosters and pediatric shots.

Michael Jensen, left, and Nathan Jensen, right, pick up trash in their encampment that they being forced to clear out of by Parks Department the near Silver Lake on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Annual homeless count could shed light on pandemic’s impact

Snohomish County canceled its 2021 point-in-time count. Officials hope this year’s will bring clarity.

Marysville Pilchuck student Gianna Frank and Marysville firefighters bag puzzles and snacks in Marysville, Washington on January 17, 2022. (Isabella Breda / The Herald)
In Marysville, care packages filled in an MLK act of service

Some bags will go to seniors, some to survivors of domestic violence and some to those living with housing insecurity.

Index School (Index School District)
Voters to decide fate of critical school funding measures

Levies to pay for staff and programs are on the Feb. 8 ballot in districts across Snohomish County.

A crew member carries plywood to steathe a roof as of the Home Repair Service Program Friday morning in Brier, Washington on January 14, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Habitat for Humanity program helps Brier homeowners stay put

The nonprofit’s Home Repair Service program gave a senior couple a new roof — and hope.

Snohomish County Courthouse. (Herald file)
Lawmakers consider Snohomish County request for 2 more judges

It’s been 15 years since the Legislature approved a new Superior Court judge for the county.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Ports and potties, and a delay in long-term-care payroll tax

Here’s what’s happening on Day 8 of the 2022 session of the Washington Legislature.

A mail carrier delivers mail along Dubuque Road in Snohomish on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mail delays frustrate and perplex Snohomish residents

One woman waited two weeks for delivery. Then came “an avalanche of mail.” The Postal Service blames snow and staffing issues.

Sam Dawson administers a collection swab herself Thursday afternoon at the walk-up COVID testing center on Wetmore Ave in Everett, Washington on January 13, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Sketchy firm’s COVID-test sites shut down as questions mount

The Center for COVID Control will close an Everett site and others around the U.S. as officials take a closer look.

Most Read