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Traffic safety tips for back to school

PPD reminds drivers to be alert, patient, follow rules to keep kids safe

The new school year is just around the corner, with Pleasanton Unified's first day of classes this coming Monday.

And with the fast-approaching fall semester, the Pleasanton Police Department is publicly reminding residents of some basic traffic safety tips, to keep children commuting to school safe.

"As the days of summer come to an end there are more cars, bicyclists and pedestrians on the streets and roadways," Sgt. Benjamin Sarasua wrote in a statement. "This means schedules and driving patterns should be adjusted to accommodate for increased vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic."

Sarasua offered these seven back-to-school traffic safety tips:

* Give yourself plenty of time in the morning. As traffic volumes and congestion increase, so does the length of time it takes to travel around town.

* Obey posted speed and directional signs. This includes marked curbs in school zones and signs that indicate parking for buses only. One poorly placed, unattended vehicle can lead to tremendous disruptions in school parking lots.

* Be patient. Everyone shares the same goal: to get their child to school on time and in a safe manner. Impatience leads to aggressive driving, rude or unwarranted behavior, pedestrian collisions and gridlocks.

* Have your kids ready when you get to the school curb. Your child should make the transition from car to school grounds as quickly and safely as possible.

* Explore carpool, ride-sharing and walking alternatives. The city of Pleasanton and the Pleasanton Unified School District have worked long and hard to come up with a variety of traffic calming solutions. More information can be found at www.cityofpleasantonca.gov.

* Look for and obey school crossing guards. Crossing guards will be present near each elementary school. Be prepared to stop and follow their directions so children can get to and from school safely.

* Children riding bicycles, scooters and skateboards must wear a helmet and obey all traffic laws every time they ride.

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