Safe School Traffic Tips

Safe School Traffic Tips
Posted on 04/30/2024

As the weather warms and more students are out and about, it's essential to revisit the importance of patience and safety during school drop-off and pick-up hours. We all share the goal of ensuring our student's well-being, and by following a few simple guidelines, we can contribute to a safer and more pleasant environment for everyone.

Plan Ahead: Leave a few minutes earlier to avoid the rush and congestion that often occurs around school entrances. This extra time will help alleviate stress and ensure a smoother drop-off process. To avoid traffic congestion, park further away from school and let your child cross the street at a Crossing Guard, Safety Patrol, or marked or unmarked crosswalk.

Follow Designated Drop-Off Zones: Schools have designated areas for drop-off. Use these zones rather than stopping in non-designated areas, as they are designed to accommodate the flow of traffic and keep children safe.

  • As a reminder, parents or guardians who have unloaded their passengers in the loading zone should leave, by law. They are now considered to be parked in a no-parking area if they have unloaded their passengers. Parents or guardians picking up their children after school are actively waiting to load, and are not in violation. Once they have actively loaded their passengers, they also need to drive on to allow other vehicles space to safely pick up students.
  • Stopping in an intersection is not legal (this includes the top of "T" intersections). This area is off-limits to stopped vehicles. Please do not drop off your child in the street. This violation can result in a traffic citation.
  • If you aren’t sure where you should park, drop off, or pick up your students, please call your school’s office.

Stay in Your Vehicle: If possible, remain in your car while dropping off your child. School staff are usually present to assist students, ensuring a swift and secure transition from car to school grounds.

Mind Speed Limits: Be aware of the reduced speed limits around school zones during drop-off times. These limits are set to provide an extra layer of safety for children walking or crossing streets.

Use Crosswalks: If your child needs to cross the street, always use designated crosswalks and follow the traffic signals. Teach your child the importance of looking both ways before crossing. If the child has to cross the street without the aid of a Crossing Guard or Safety Patrol, you as a parent should help your child cross the street. Never let your child cross between parked cars or mid-block! 

Avoid Double Parking: Double parking can obstruct visibility and create unnecessary traffic congestion. Park only in designated areas or along the curb where it's legal and safe to do so. Double-parking (or stopping) of vehicles is not legal. You may not stop your vehicle on the roadway side of any parked vehicle. This violation can also result in a traffic citation.

Be Mindful of Others: Remember that many families are participating in drop-off and pick-up simultaneously. Exercise patience and courtesy to ensure a smooth flow of traffic and minimize stress for everyone.

Model Safe Behavior: Children learn by observing their parents and caregivers. Demonstrate safe traffic behavior by obeying traffic laws, wearing seat belts, and using turn signals.

Put Away Distractions: While dropping off your child, focus on the task at hand. Put away your phone and other distractions to ensure you're fully aware of your surroundings.

Communicate with Your Child: Have open conversations with your child about the importance of safety during drop-off and pick-up times. Encourage them to stay attentive and follow the guidance of school staff.

By adhering to these guidelines, we can collectively create a safe and positive environment during school drop-off hours. Let's work together to ensure the well-being of our children and promote a culture of patience, safety, and respect.

The Appleton Police Department is reminding our community about "Packing Our Patience" for the upcoming school year. Follow them on Facebook for more school safety and traffic tips until the start of the school year.

Traffic and parking rules around schools are created and enforced for the safety of the students. Each year, the Appleton Police Department receives complaints related to unsafe driving in school zones. Some of the issues include:

  • Illegal parking or stopping
  • Failure to obey the Crossing Guard
  • Failure to yield to children in the crosswalk
  • Speeding in the school zone

We encourage all of our families to follow posted signs in school zones and on school property. We work cooperatively with area law enforcement to prioritize safety and to ensure efficiency in the busy times around drop-off and dismissal. We have been notified by law enforcement that, due to ongoing complaints, tickets will be issued to vehicles that are parked in the school loading zone after they have unloaded their passengers or have left their vehicles in that area (parked).

Follow all posted signs

  • No Stopping, Standing, or Parking: These areas may not be used as a drop-off zone. Vehicles cannot stop in this area - even momentarily - to drop off or pick up passengers as these areas are off-limits to vehicles during the posted times. This is the most frequently violated sign; please obey this sign. Violators are subject to a parking citation or, in some cases, a traffic citation.
  • No Parking 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on School Days: These designated areas may be used to drop off or pick up students if the driver does not leave the vehicle. If the operator occupies the vehicle you may stop and wait for your children to be picked up. Vehicles parked without a driver are subject to a parking fine.
  • 5-Minute Loading Zone (or another time parameter): In these designated areas you can leave your vehicle unoccupied in this area for the designated time. This area is intended for the loading and unloading of persons and/or property. Violators are subject to a fine.
  • Statutory Parking Restrictions: Vehicles parked within four feet of a driveway, ten feet of a fire hydrant, or fifteen feet of a marked or unmarked crosswalk are subject to a fine. Since these types of restrictions are statutory and considered "Rules of the Road," all licensed drivers are obligated to abide by them, whether marked or unmarked by signage or curb markings.
  • Unrestricted Parking: May be used for dropping off and picking up students or for parking.