Reminder to drive safely and cautiously with schools opening

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on August 12, 2019

Menlo-Atherton High School starts this Wednesday, Aug. 14, followed by the Las Lomitas Elementary School District, the Woodside School District, the Portola Valley School District, and the Ravenswood School District  on Wednesday, Aug. 21, and the Menlo Park City School District on Thursday, Aug. 22.

The Atherton Police Department sent out a list of reminders for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to keep in mind, not only during the morning and afternoon school rush, but at other times, as they are state of California statutes. Here they are:

1) Passing a vehicle inside of a bicycle lane is illegal. A motorist can only enter a bicycle lane for the following reasons: a) To park where parking is permitting (as long as your vehicle does not block a bicyclist and/or there is not a “No Parking” sign posted), b) To enter or leave the roadway, and c) To prepare for a turn within a distance of 200 feet from the intersection. California Vehicle Code section 21209(a). Minimum fine $238.00.

2) A bicycle operated on a roadway, or the shoulder of a highway, shall be operated in the same direction as vehicles are required to be driven upon the roadway. This means that you cannot ride your bicycle on the wrong side of the road facing oncoming traffic. California Vehicle Code section 21650.1. Minimum fine $197.00.

3) A person under the age of 18 must wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet while operating or riding upon a bicycle, a non-motorized scooter, or a skateboard, or while wearing in-line or regular roller skates. California Vehicle Code section 21212(a). Minimum fine $197.00.

4) Under normal circumstances, when you are walking on a roadway, you must walk facing traffic, with the outside edge of the road on your left hand side. This means you will be facing on-coming traffic. California Vehicle Code section 21956(a). Minimum fine $197.00.

5) The speed limit around schools in the State of California is 25 miles per hour, unless posted otherwise. Please watch your speeds, be aware of your surroundings, and be prepared to stop in the event of an emergency. California Vehicle Code section 22352(b)(2). Minimum fine $238.00.

6) All persons riding bicycles upon public roadways are required to follow the same rules of the road as vehicles, including stopping at stop signs, following the speed limit, and yielding the right of way to approaching vehicles close enough to constitute a hazard. California Vehicle Code section 21200(a). Authority to enforce traffic laws upon bicyclists.

InMenlo file photo of teen entering high school (c) 2018

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