The Atherton Police Department encourages everyone to travel safely within the Town of Atherton. With school back in session, the following are reminders for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to keep in mind while traveling on our streets:
1) Passing a vehicle inside of a bicycle lane is illegal. A motorist can only enter a bicycle lane for the following reasons: 1) To park where parking is permitting (as long as your vehicle does not block a bicyclist and/or there is not a “No Parking” sign posted), 2) To enter or leave the roadway, and 3) To prepare for a turn within a distance of 200 feet from the intersection. California Vehicle Code section 21209(a).
2) A bicycle operated on a roadway, or the shoulder of a highway, shall be operated in the same direction as vehicles are required to be driven upon the roadway. This means that you cannot ride your bicycle on the wrong side of the road facing oncoming traffic. California Vehicle Code section 21650.1.
3) A person under the age of 18 must wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet while operating or riding upon a bicycle, a non-motorized scooter, or a skateboard, or while wearing in-line or regular roller skates. California Vehicle Code section 21212(a).
4) Under normal circumstances, when you are walking on a roadway, you must walk facing traffic, with the outside edge of the road on your left hand side. This means you will be facing on-coming traffic. California Vehicle Code section 21956(a) and (b).
5) The speed limit around schools in the State of California is 25 miles per hour, unless posted otherwise. Please watch your speeds, be aware of your surroundings, and be prepared to stop in the event of an emergency.
6) All persons riding bicycles upon public roadways are required to follow the same rules of the road as vehicles, including stopping at stop signs, following the speed limit, and yielding the right of way to approaching vehicles close enough to constitute a hazard. California Vehicle Code section 21200(a).
Traffic within the Town of Atherton will significantly increase during the morning and afternoon commute periods due to the beginning and ending of the school day. If your route takes you near a school, please be prepared for an increase in traffic, pedestrians, and bicyclists, and allow for extra time to arrive at your destination.
The Atherton Police Department will be around our schools during the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up periods. The Atherton Police Department will be enforcing violations, such as speeding, failing to stop at stop signs, crossing double yellow lines, passing in bicycle lanes, failing to stop at red lights, and cell phone use (non-hands free and texting while driving).
The Atherton Police Department hopes everyone has a safe start to the new school year, and does their part to ensure safety around our schools.