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Safety Tips: Getting To and From School

A Message from School Safety and Emergency Management


Dear Families,

Happy November! With seasons changing and darker/shorter days ahead, we wanted to remind families and students about some safety tips about getting to and from school on darker winter days.

Here are some tips for winter weather commuting:

Walkers – If you are walking to school or the bus stop: 

  • Make yourself visible to drivers. Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials. Reflective tape works well on backpacks!
  • Walk to school or your bus stop with others (peers or an adult)
  • Cross the street in well-lit areas and designated crosswalks when possible, and walk facing the direction of moving cars.
  • Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars, or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.
  • Keep phone and music distractions to a minimum while walking. You’re four times more likely to display unsafe walking behaviors while carrying a phone.
  • Wear sturdy shoes; sidewalks can be slick in the early morning.

Bikers – If you are riding your bike to school: 

  • Be predictable, avoiding quick motions that motorists and other travelers may not be expecting.
  • Be visible, making sure everyone can see you and knows where you are and where you are going.
  • If riding in the dark, use headlights, taillights, and reflectors and wear reflective materials and brightly colored clothing.
  • Do not wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while bicycling. Always wear a helmet.

For additional information on safe walking and biking, check out City of Bellingham’s Travel with Care campaign.

Please note that while some of our schools have flexible indoor spaces for students who arrive in the early morning before school starts; others are working to illuminate playgrounds and covered play areas to help with visibility and supervision. If you have questions, you can talk to your school principal or you can email or call School Safety and Emergency Management at 360-676-6400, extension 6533.