Back to School Safety

It’s that time of year again when parents and children are preparing to go back to school. As part of our commitment to overall safety, the City of Bismarck would like to help you with your preparations by offering these safety tips.

At some point during the day, children will be on or near a road, and keeping them safe should always be the first priority, especially around schools. It is recommended that before classes start, parents review the drop-off procedures for their child’s school and be aware of the school’s designated bus loading and unloading areas.

To enhance safety for children and adults crossing the roadway in high traffic areas, the city of Bismarck has begun installing curb extensions or “bump outs”. What is a curb extension?

Curb extensions—also known as bulb-outs or neckdowns or bump outs—extends the sidewalk or curb line out into the parking lane and reduce the effective street width while still maintaining adequate driving lane width. This countermeasure improves pedestrian crossings by:

  • Reducing the pedestrian crossing distance, reducing the time that pedestrians are in the street, improving safety for students and their families when crossing the street
  • Visually and physically narrowing the roadway
  • Improving the ability of pedestrians and motorists to see each other
  • Curb extensions also create space for the addition of an ADA curb ramp.

Curb Extensions 7th and 9th Street

Things to remember when you are in a school zone:

  • No Texting and Driving
  • Plan and Be Patient: Plan to leave earlier than usual to accommodate the extra traffic and be patient with other parents and new drivers.
  • Slow Down: School zone speed limits drop to 20 miles per hour.
  • No Double Parking: This blocks visibility for children and vehicles.
  • Drop Off/Pick Up Same Side as School: Don't load or unload children across the street from the school.
  • Carpool: It reduces the number of vehicles at the school.
  • Stop for School Buses: It is against the law to pass a school bus when the red lights are on and the stop arm is displayed.
  • Don’t park in school bus loading zones, crosswalks or too close to the intersection
  • Yield to Pedestrians: Always stop for children or adults crossing the street and for school patrol officers or crossing guards in a fluorescent yellow/green vest holding a stop sign.

By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones.