Seattle creates more 'safe routes' to schools
SEATTLE - The city of Seattle's kicking off the school year with a number of new improvements to help students get to and from class safely.
At Greenwood Elementary School, crews added new flashing lights to the crosswalk.
Now kids or other walkers simply push the walk button and flashing lights alert drivers on busy, NW 80th Street to stop and allow them to cross.
City officials say there's a push to get more kids walking and biking to school, to keep them active and cut down on the number of parents dropping students off, which typically clogs traffic.
The city is also partnering with local groups, who are helping kids learn how to safely ride their bikes.
Educating drivers is just as important.
The city installed several new flashing speed limit warning lights for drivers.
The Seattle Department of Transportation now maintains more than 60 sets of flashing lights at local schools.
And don't forget that there are cameras stationed at some of the city's school speed zones, to catch those who disobey.
Numbers show that 90% of drivers who get a ticket based on one of those cameras, don't speed through the zone anymore.
Now is also the time to look at your commute in regard to school start times, since bell times are changing in a number of districts this year.
Some drivers may want to change their leave time or even their route, to avoid congestion when classes are back in session.