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

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