Back to School Driving Tips
Posted on 08/28/2018

Students in Newcastle are heading back to school as early as this week! The Renton School District kicks off classes on Aug. 29, while Issaquah reconvenes on Sept. 5. Drivers, please be mindful of school zones when children are present and adhere to any posted speed limit and stop signs. As a reminder, it is illegal to pass a school bus stopped to load or unload children. See the full state law here.


— You must ALWAYS stop if you are traveling in the same direction as a stopped school bus.

— If you're driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing.

— On a two-lane road, traffic in both directions must stop for a stopped school bus.

— If there are three or more lanes, or a divided roadway, you are not required to stop if you're traveling in the opposite direction of the stopped school bus.

— Please keep in mind, that even if you are not required to stop, you need to proceed with caution. Be alert! Children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks


Slow Down: Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. 

— Come to a Complete Stop: Research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.

Eliminate Distractions: Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. 

— Watch for bicycles: Children on bikes are often inexperienced, unsteady and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and a bicyclist. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that he or she wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet on every ride.

— Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas.

— Don't block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you. This could put them in the path of moving traffic.

— In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.

There are three schools in Newcastle city limits (click on the school name to be taken to the school's website for more information).

Risdon Middle School | Renton School District | (6928 116th Ave. SE)

Hazelwood Elementary School | Renton School District | (7100 116th Ave. SE)

Newcastle Elementary School | Issaquah School District | (8400 136th Ave. SE)

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