As students head back to the classroom, schools, and the communities around them are going to be busier than they’ve been since the start of the pandemic.

The Porterville Police Department reminds everyone to stay aware and stay safe with increased traffic returning to school zones.

Students in the Burton School District returned to school on Tuesday. Porterville Unified School District students will return to school on Thursday.

There are going to be a lot more parents, students, and staff out than residents have seen in more than a year,” Porterville Police Department Lieutenant Mark Azevedo said. “Please drive carefully in school zones, especially during pick-up and drop-off times.”

Azevedo also encouraged drivers to use caution around school buses.

The easiest, safest thing to do is to stop the car when you encounter a school bus with a stop sign and flashing red lights,” Azevedo said. “There are going to be students getting on and off the school bus. It’s also the law.”

California law requires drivers to stop when a school bus is in front of them and extends its stop sign with flashing red lights. Drivers must remain stopped if the red lights are on. Drivers in both directions must stop on any two-lane road without a median or a center turn lane.  

The Porterville Police Department offers the following tips to stay safe around schools:

Slow down.

Follow any school rules for dropping off or picking up students.

Stop for school buses. Watch for children rushing to catch the bus or exiting.

Whenever possible, avoid blocking the crosswalk while waiting to make a right-hand turn.

Always look both ways before crossing the street. Make sure cars see you.

Walk on sidewalks, when available. Cross at marked crosswalks, preferably at stop signs or signals. 

Watch for cars entering or backingout of driveways or leaving parking spaces.  

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


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