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    Respecting the Lawton Safety Patrol

    The Lawton 5th Grade Safety Patrol is up and running. Here are a few reminders for parents. Please read and review both the Lawton specific guidelines and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission School Zone Safety Tips.

    Fortunately, in the ten years of doing safety patrol at Lawton we have never had an accident or injury with students on patrol. We want to keep it that way.

    1. Patrollers are there to help students be safe and feel welcome at Lawton. Feel free to help them, talk with them, thank them and compliment them. They are learning. If you feel they are unsafe in any way please let them know politely and bring it to the attention of any staff member, Mr. Manza, Ms. McCue, or Mr. Terry (the head of the patrol.) This is a leadership opportunity for them.
    2. Crossing guards are there to direct walkers not traffic.
      1. Please use the crosswalks and remind your students to do so as well.
      2. Wait for the patrollers to tell you when it is safe (remember they are only 10 and often take a few seconds longer than adults to know it is safe.)
    3. Driving to Lawton.
      1. Drive 20 MPH or less in the school zone.
      2. STOP when there are walkers waiting to cross the street (state law!)
      3. Give a nod to the patrollers that you are waiting for the walkers.
      4. Use your blinkers.
      5. DO NOT use your phone in the school zone for any reason unless you are legally parked!
    4. Dropping off on 27th Ave. OR on 26th Ave.
      1. DO NOT stop in the circle.
      2. DO NOT drive in the bus zone at any time.
      3. Pull forward all the way so the cars behind you have room.
      4. DO NOT get out of your car. The patrollers are instructed to help younger students with backpacks, coats, and even to walk them to their lines if necessary.
      5. Drive away carefully.
      6. 26th Ave. W is an unofficial one way in the mornings. Please continue up the hill.
    5. Parking around Lawton
      1. The parking lot is reserved for staff, handicapped vehicles or auction winners. It is NOT for drop off or pick up.
      2. Please do not double park.
      3. Respect all of the no parking signs at the corners and bus zones. Busses have to turn all those corners.
      4. Respect neighbor driveways and leave 5 feet on both sides of driveway entrances.

    Parents' School Zone Safety Tips

    Your child's safety—it's never far from your mind. The school zone can provide 600 feet of peace of mind, but only if all drivers follow the rules.

    It's a school morning and all across Washington State parents, grandparents, babysitters, and daycare providers rush kids out the door and into the car. Grownups think about the day's activities. Will they make their morning appointments and meetings on time? Kids remember they forgot their lunch or homework.

    As drivers approach the school, they find a lot of activity—school buses turning, students walking or biking, safety patrol members helping kids cross the street, cars pulling in along the side of the road, and of course other drivers who are also dropping kids off. In the parking lot the confusion increases—kids dart out between parked cars, long lines of cars block parking spaces, and the exit backs up. Sometimes picking up and dropping off kids from school can be chaotic. Here's a few tips to make sure the chaos doesn't turn into tragedy.

    What's a School Zone? The 600-foot school zone is designated by two signs, both 300 feet on either side of a marked crosswalk. The speed limit in a school zone is 20 m.p.h. You should remember that fines are double for traffic violations committed within the school zone.

    There are four kinds of marked school zones that tell you when you must drive 20 m.p.h:

    • When Children are Present
    • From 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    • When Flagged
    • When Flashing

    However your school zone is marked, you can trust that if you're bringing your kids to school or picking them up, the 20 m.p.h. speed limit is in effect—even if the sign has not yet been flagged!

    Driving in the School Zone: Slow down—you're free to drive even slower than 20 m.p.h. and should when conditions warrant it such as times of poor visibility due to heavy rain, blowing snow, icy roads, fog, or darkness; or when there is heavy traffic or lots of activity on the road side such as groups of kids or parked cars letting off passengers.

    Cars that park too close to the crosswalk obstruct the view of oncoming traffic for the safety patrol officer and create a hazard. When picking up or dropping off your child, please park in legal, designated spaces only.

    Use caution. Avoid making u-turns within the school zone markings. Don't turn around in the neighboring resident's driveways. It's hard enough to see children—even harder when you're making u-turns or backing up.

    At the Crosswalk: The safety patrol members guarding the crosswalk are there to direct the students, not the traffic. It is a driver's responsibility to stop to allow pedestrians to cross in a crosswalk.

    Please stop well before the crosswalk and stay stopped until the crosswalk is no longer occupied, not just until your lane is clear. You may not turn left or right through an occupied crosswalk. Do not overtake or pass a car that is stopped in front of a crosswalk, even if it is signaling that it is turning right. When you're turning, don't wait inside the crosswalk.

    Children on Wheels: If your children ride a bike, scooter or skateboard to school remind them that they must walk the bike or scooter or carry the skateboard across the crosswalk. If they roller skate or rollerblade to school, they must remove the skate or blades and walk across the crosswalk, as well.

    Stopping Within a School Zone: Never stop or park your car in the crosswalk or within 20 feet of the crosswalk. Students and other pedestrians rely on the crosswalk and need the visibility that the 20-foot buffer provides to cross safely.

    If you park on the side of the road, always have your child exit the car on the side away from traffic. Don't park so that your child dashes across the street to get to the school. Always have your child use the designated crosswalk. Remind your child to follow the safety patrol's instructions.

    Stuck Behind a School Bus? It always seems to happen when we're in a hurry, but remember you must come to a full stop when the bus is loading or unloading children whether you are behind the bus or approaching it from the opposite direction. The bus driver activates a warning signal, usually flashing lights and a "stop" sign, to let you know when you must stop. The warning stays active until all the children are either safely loaded on the bus or have safely crossed the street. It is important that you stay stopped until the school bus starts moving again.

    School Rules: All school zones are unique. Sometimes schools develop additional policies specific to their concerns. For the children's safety, some schools develop traffic flow patterns, limit drop off and pick up sites, or develop other procedures. For these rules to work to protect the children everyone must follow the rules every time. Make sure anyone else who picks up or drops off your child is aware of the school's policies. Share this flyer with them as well as any other school policy notices.

    Washington Traffic Safety Commission
    1000 South Cherry Street, P.O. Box 40944
    Olympia, WA 98504-0944
    Produced May 2001

    Children Are Not Adults: Young children see and hear differently than adults. Children have only two-thirds of the peripheral vision that adults have and they have difficulty determining the source of a sound. They are still learning to judge distances and speeds. When a car is coming towards them, they cannot judge accurately how fast it is traveling or how long it will take to cover the distance. Children focus on one thing at a time. If they are playing with friends or riding bikes it is unlikely that they are aware of your car. Children are spontaneous and have trouble stopping an action once started. Children also tend to overestimate their abilities, thinking that they can run across a street before the flashing light changes or a car approaches.

    This is why adult drivers must be on the look out children. Drivers must not assume that a child sees their car or think that they can predict a child's actions. If every driver follows the school zone rules we can ensure a safe environment for all our children.

    Questions? If you have questions or concerns about school zone safety don't hesitate to contact your school's principal, the head of the parent-teacher association, or your local law enforcement agency. You could also contact the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, listed below. Community partners working together can address your concerns until the right solution is found.

    Washington Traffic Safety Commission
    1000 South Cherry Street, P.O. Box 40944
    Olympia,WA 98504-0944