To ensure student safety and increase awareness of the start of the school year, the Portland Police Bureau with the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation continues to conduct high visibility patrols around all Portland schools as part of a “Back to School” safety campaign.

Students and Drivers Receive Safety Instruction

Starting September 9 and continuing throughout the school year, the Transportation Bureau’s Safe Routes to School program will be providing pedestrian and bicycle safety instruction to thousands of students at schools across the city.

There will be emphasis placed on traffic safety and traffic education for students, bicyclists and drivers of motorized vehicles during the morning hours when students arrive at their schools and in the afternoon hours when the schools dismiss their students.

Police Presence around Schools to Reduce Number of Crashes

The Portland Police Bureau Youth Services Division, Traffic Division, Central Precinct, North Precinct, East Precinct and Gang Enforcement Team personnel will be providing a highly visible police presence in and around schools, enforcing traffic laws in these zones to reduce the number of crashes in school zones and to create a safe environment for students returning to school.

Safety Tips for Drivers

The bureaus offer these safety tips:

  • If you’re driving, obey the 20 mph speed limit in school zones.
  • Be vigilant and courteous to children crossing the street.
  • Be patient during drop-off and pick-up if you drive your student to school or drive near a school (the roadways surrounding schools are congested during these times).
  • If you’re a parent, consider walking or biking to school with your students where possible to reduce congestion, improve safety and provide your children with needed physical activity.
  • Yield to pedestrians at all intersections, whether marked with a crosswalk or not (it’s the law).
  • Look both ways for pedestrians and bicyclists when turning right on a red light.
  • Be aware of students where there are no sidewalks along the road and when backing out of driveways.
  • Watch for younger and less predictable children who may dart into the road.
  • Stop and wait for school buses when red lights are flashing.

We all want to make walking and biking around our neighborhoods and schools fun, easy, safe and healthy for students and families, while reducing our reliance on cars.