San Mateo County, CA — As students and staff return to schools for in-person instruction, the San Mateo County Office of Education reminds everyone to keep the safety of students in mind when traveling around schools.

All drivers should drive carefully in school zones and around school buses. Drivers should anticipate more foot and car traffic around schools for drop-off and pick-up. They should do their best to avoid blocking the crosswalk when making a right-hand turn. In addition, 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 as long as the red lights are on. Drivers in both directions must stop on any two-lane road without a median or two-lane road with a center turn lane. 

The San Mateo County Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, which promotes safe alternative transportation for students, encourages families to walk and bicycle to school, and offers the following tips for parents and students:

  • Walk on sidewalks and use marked crosswalks, preferably at stop signs or signals.
  • Watch for cars entering/backing out of driveways or leaving parking spaces.
  • If you need to walk into the street to maintain physical distancing, remember to look both ways for cars.
  • Always look left-right-left before crossing the street. Make sure cars see you. Continue scanning for cars when entering the crosswalk.
  • Do not listen to loud music or use a phone when crossing the street.
  • Follow the Four Pillars (health and hygiene, face coverings, physical distancing, and limited gatherings) and any school guidance related to dropping off or picking up students.

Learn more tips in the San Mateo County SRTS’ Walk + Roll to School Guidebook. Funding for the San Mateo County SRTS program was provided by a grant from the San Mateo County City/County Association of Governments, San Mateo County Transportation Authority, Active Transportation Program and the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.