If you’ve driven through any Snoqualmie Valley School zone since the start of classes last Wednesday, August 29th, chances are you’ve noticed an increased police presence. If you haven’t noticed it, your chances of receiving a school zone infraction ticket have greatly increased.
Already at 9AM today, September 4th, another driver was spotted pulled over by Snoqualmie Police, lights flashing, in front of Mount Si High School. The speed limit on Meadowbrook is 20MPH from 7AM-4PM; that includes times when school is in session and quiet.
Last Friday I witnessed two more cars pulled over in just a 20 minute time span. One in front of Snoqualmie Middle School and another, again, in front on Mount Si. Readers also reported police near Twin Falls Middle School. The extra enforcement is especially noticeable near SMS and MSHS, schools who start and release within minutes of each other, adding to congestion on Meadowbrook and Railroad Ave/202.
Last week Snoqualmie Police Chief, Steve McCulley, in a letter to local newspapers said, “School zone safety is a top priority for the Snoqualmie Police Department, and we would like to ensure that all drivers are aware that the school zone speed limit is 20 mph in all Snoqualmie school zones. Schools zones vary from city to city and are posted in several different ways. School zones can be posted with flashing lights, times of enforcement and when children are present. ”
Chief McCulley went on to add, “Snoqualmie Police will be conducting extra traffic emphasis for school zone violations, talking or texting while driving and child restraint violations.” In addition to those child restraint laws, Washington State law also requires children under 13 years old to ride in the back seat whenever it is practical to do so. Yes, that’s the law.
It’s time to slow down, and not just because the police are conducting extra school zone patrols. Schools are back in session. More drivers and more walking children are present in school areas. In the Mount Si/Snoqualmie Middle School area, this includes numerous teenage drivers whom are new to the road. Snoqualmie Police report in 2010, 3092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
So buckle up, get kids in their cars seats, get kids under 13 in the back seat, put the phone down and pay close attention to those school zone speed limit signs, which might have flashing lights or not to warn you. Either way, if you forget, you may end up with a big ticket from local police who are currently conducting extra traffic enforcement to ensure valley safety and cut down and traffic accidents.
To read Chief McCulley’s full letter to the local papers click HERE.