By Lisa Paredes
Back to School season in Burbank means back to major traffic hold-ups at certain times of the day around our local schools. The Burbank Police Department and Burbank Unified School District work together to make drop off and pick up as smooth and safe as possible for everyone. During the first few weeks of the school year, and at certain times throughout the year, BPD sends out patrol and motorcycle officers, parking enforcement and other personnel to the schools and surrounding areas to help remind everyone in the area about driving and walking safely to school.
“Traffic congestion at/around the schools continues to be a challenge for everyone involved,” commented Sergeant Kerry Schilf of the Traffic Bureau. “It is suggested to parents that they arrive early, park at a distance from the school and walk their child to school. Double parking and letting children out of a vehicle while stopped in traffic places the child in danger.”
Burbank Unified brings traffic and safety issues and concerns to the attention of police officials through the daily interaction with school administrators. Crossing guards are deployed at critical intersections near schools to assist parents and children walking to school. However, most people walking or driving to school are dealing with everyone else out on the roads and sidewalks, on their way to school and work, all concerned about being on time.
Burbank Police have some helpful suggestions to keep in mind:
- Be patient in heavy traffic, slow down, plan ahead and arrive early
- Use the safe delivery/valet drop-off area
- Have your children exit your vehicle on the right side (sidewalk side) away from moving vehicles. Make an effort to pull your vehicle to the curb before letting students out.
- Stay alert and look around for others walking nearby. Don’t use cell phones or other distractions.
- Park your car in the appropriate areas and obey parking restrictions
- Obey all traffic laws
- Park or leave your vehicle in delivery/valet drop-off area or red no-parking zones
- Stop your vehicle in the middle of the street to let your child in or out
- Walk between vehicles in drop-off or pick-up area
- Allow your child to cross the street outside designated crossing area
- Pass vehicles on the wrong side of the street
For commuters in the area and parents alike, drive slowly and look all around. The few seconds or even two minutes of time you may save rushing down the street near to a school is not worth it. And, local parents and students, be considerate and aware of your surroundings. Don’t leave parked cars blocking other vehicles and cross the street safely. Here’s to a great, and safe, new school year!