Deputy warns Woodside drivers to be more careful near school

Deputies will enforce traffic laws during dropoff and pickup times

An email sent March 19 to parents at Woodside Elementary School by San Mateo County Sheriff's Deputy Ron DeRespini warns that drivers are breaking traffic laws near the school and putting children and adults at risk.

Two vehicle code violations were singled out by Deputy DeRespini:

● Driving while pedestrians are in the crosswalk. The deputy said that "no vehicle shall enter a crosswalk until the pedestrian has completely cleared the crosswalk." Drivers need to " be aware of children entering and exiting the crosswalks, as they sometimes do not pay as much attention to oncoming vehicles as adults," he wrote. "Numerous tickets have been written in front of the school for this violation."

● Passing to the right of vehicles stopped on Woodside Road, or entering the school parking lot. The law says "the driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting that movement in safety. In no event shall that movement be made by driving off the paved or main-traveled portion of the roadway," Deputy DeRespini wrote.

"I have seen this happen all too often, and have written numerous tickets for this offense," he said. "It's extremely dangerous, considering that the driver making the pass can not always see what is beyond the car directly in front of them."

Deputy DeRespini said "there have been numerous close calls with students and parents" recently.

Those two violations are not the only ones drivers are guilty of, he said. "There are also the usual offenses, such as cell phone use, texting while driving, and no seatbelts being worn," he wrote. While tickets may be written for those offenses, Deputy DeRespini said that deputies are "most focused on the safety of the students getting to and from school."

Mr. DeRespini warned that "deputies will be out and about enforcing these codes during drop-off and pick-up, and making sure that everyone in the area is acting in a safe manner. That includes vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians," he wrote.

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7 people like this
Posted by Michael D. Austin
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 20, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Nice editorial. Great advice. And as a newly-arrived former Los Angeleno, I find that 90%+ of the drivers I encounter around Woodside school, and on La Honda Rd. between Woodside and La Honda, are often both discourteous and dangerous. I've wondered why I don't see more injury accidents. I've got an additional idea for the county. Begin patrolling those areas on an unannounced, irregular basis and deliver traffic citations. Easy money for the county on the astronomical numbers of speeding and reckless driving tickets they'd generate.

4 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 20, 2015 at 1:24 pm

We are glad the cops are cracking down on reckless driving in school zones. Some of the worst driving is near schools and this is also where pedestrians are most common and most vulnerable. Turn your phone off and pay attention when driving.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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