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Petaluma Police Department
Thursday August 11th, 2022 :: 01:48 p.m. PDT


Petaluma Police Department Safe Routes to School Notification

PRESS RELEASEFor Immediate Release/Broadcast                                                             

Thursday August 11, 2022 

Contact:         Sergeant Walt Spiller                       
Petaluma Police Department
Special Services Division- Traffic Safety Team
 Phone 707.778.4596
Safe Routes to School
Traffic Safety Operation


Police Targeting School Zones for Safety

The City of Petaluma Police Department and the Traffic Engineering Department will be conducting the “Safe Routes to School Traffic Safety Operation” during the first week of the 2022/2023 school year. The operation begins on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 for all Petaluma City Schools, Old Adobe School District, Waugh School District and St Vincent DePaul Campuses.
The operation will deploy additional Police Officers, Community Service Officers, and Volunteers in and around school zones within the City of Petaluma.  The purpose of this operation is to increase the level of traffic safety in and around the school zones through maximum traffic enforcement of hazardous traffic violations and through an aggressive education campaign to educate students and parents of the importance of traffic safety. 
This is the 22nd year of the Safe Routes to School Operation, which creates safe routes for everyone to get to and from school.  “We respectfully ask parents, school faculty and students to walk, ride, drive and park like they are doing the same in their own neighborhood for safety of our children in school zones,” said Special Operations Lieutenant Jeremy Walsh.
Patrol and Traffic Officers will be conducting high visibility patrols around school zones to improve safety.  The Safe Routes to School Traffic Safety Plan is a collaborative effort between law enforcement, traffic engineering, schools, parents, and students to create safe routes to and from our local schools. 
The increased deployment of officers in marked patrol cars will be used to enforce traffic laws for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians in and around the school zones. 
As a reminder, students riding a bicycle to school under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet.  The Petaluma Police Department has a free helmet program if children under the age of 18 are in need of a helmet.  Officers will be looking for these violations as part of our enforcement and education efforts to make sure bicyclists are coming to and from school safely.
Pedestrian Safety remains a high priority with students going back to school.  Motorists are reminded to look ahead and be prepared to stop for school crossings and respect crossing guards as they get children safely to and from school.
This focus on traffic safety in and around the school zones will continue during the school year.  Students and motorists are encouraged to drive safely, being responsible and defensive drivers, as officers will be issuing citations for all hazardous violations observed.  The Police Department’s goal through the “Safe Routes to School Operation” is to create a safer environment for our children and all motorists as they travel to and from school and throughout the City.
The following are reminders for motorists:
  • Distracted driving, riding, or walking, is extremely dangerous – no talking or texting on cell phones.  Speaker phone is legal however it must be hands free.  Do not cover both ears with ear buds or headphones while driving.
  • Give yourself plenty of time and leave early so you are not in a hurry to get to where you are going.
  • School Zone Speed Limit is 25MPH when children are present.
  • Watch out for others, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and stopped vehicles.  The stopped vehicle may be letting a pedestrian cross the street.
  • Remember to stop in both directions for a school bus that has activated the flashing red lights, except on a divided highway. (Minimum Fine =  $600)
  • Reduce your speed in adverse weather conditions and turn on your lights.  These conditions include fog, direct sunlight, and rain.
  • Double parking to drop off or pick-up is not only unsafe, but illegal. 
  • Most schools have traffic circulation/flow patterns mapped out.  Parents are encouraged to contact school administrators and learn how they can follow established traffic patterns to keep the children safe.
  • Bicycles always ride on the right side of the roadway and obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Remember to walk your bicycle across the street if you are using a marked crosswalk.
  • Helmet laws will be strictly enforced for anyone riding under the age of 18.
  • Do not block driveways, fire hydrants, crosswalks, or handicap access ramps at corners.
  • Do not park in red zones for drop off locations.  Red zones are commonly used for line of sight issues and should not be utilized for any sort of parking even if brief.
  • Be considerate and respectful of the residents in the neighborhood. 
Members of the community who identify traffic hazards or other hazardous traffic situations near school zones are encouraged to contact the Traffic Safety Team at 778-4372. 

Petaluma Police Department
969 Petaluma Blvd N
Petaluma, CA 94952

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-778-4372

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