Safe Routes to School

  • Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety wants to remind everyone of simple safety considerations that will help ensure that we all have a safe school year. Traffic violations around school zones increase dramatically during drop-off and pick-up times. By simply dropping off your child a block or two away from the school, you will alleviate a great deal of school zone traffic thus reducing the likelihood of a collision.  Considering alternative routes that result in right-hand turns into the parking lots and drop-off zones instead of left turns will also improve traffic flow.  In addition, there is a Sunnyvale crossing guard at the intersection of Fairwood Ave. and Sandia Ave. to ensure your children cross safely. Please discuss traffic safety with your children to ensure they know the laws that relate to bicycling, walking, or skateboarding.

  • Parking and Drop Off

    As many of you have experienced, morning drop off and afternoon pick up are busy times of the day at Fairwood Explorer.   To make these times safer for our students and community, please remember to follow the following procedures and traffic laws:

    • If using one of the drop-off/pick-up areas, please use the lane closest to the curb for loading and unloading.  Reserve the outer lane for cars that are exiting. This is safer for children so they don’t walk between moving vehicles.
    • When parking, please park in the appropriately designated spaces. Handicapped spaces are only for those with a placard, not for quick drop-offs or waiting for a student to get out of class. 
    • Avoid blocking driveways.
    • Always use the crosswalks for safe passage across the street.  If your child bikes or walks to school alone or with friends, encourage them to use the crosswalks too.
    • Obey the directions of all drop-off/pick-up attendants and crossing guards. 
    • Do not make U-turns on streets bordering the school. 
    • Plan ahead – Arrange a meeting spot a block away from school to pick up your child.
    • Be a positive role model for our students by using positive language and actions in all interactions with other community members.

    • Stop for pedestrians – it’s the law in California
    • Make eye contact with a pedestrian before proceeding through a crosswalk
    • Never pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk—assume they are stopped for a pedestrian
    • Focus on the Road – You are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash if you are texting while driving


    • Walk on the sidewalk or walk facing traffic where there is no sidewalk
    • Cross at the corner or marked crosswalk whenever possible
    • At signals, start crossing the street only when you have the “walk” signal
    • Watch for traffic even in a marked crosswalk with the “walk” signal – make eye contact with drivers who are approaching before stepping into the street
    • Don’t be a distracted walker—turn off your headphones and pay attention when crossing the street 
    • Bicyclists follow the same traffic laws required for motor vehicles which includes riding on the right side of the road with the flow of traffic
    • Sidewalk riding is permitted in some cities for children. When on the sidewalk, travel slowly, yield to pedestrian and be aware of cars backing out of driveways
    • Be predictable – Use hand signals for turning and stopping
    • Walk your bike in the crosswalk to avoid conflicts with pedestrians and turning cars that might not be looking for bicyclists in the crosswalk
    • Wear light colored outer clothing, preferably with reflective strips, and always wear a helmet


    Walk and Roll Banner

  • Avoid Common Traffic Violations Near Schools

     As a Driver:

    • No parking in red zones (even if driver is waiting in vehicle)
    • No parking in bus loading zones (even if driver is waiting in vehicle)
    • No parking in crosswalks (even if driver is waiting in vehicle)
    • Use white curbs for loading and unloading only
    • Do not double-park
    • Stop sign violations and speeding (any speed unsafe for conditions)
    • Illegal left-hand turn out of the school parking lot where signs are posted
    • Illegal U-turns (within 200’ of any approaching vehicle, bicycle, or pedestrian.)
    • Always wear your seat belt!

    As a Cyclist:

    • Bicyclists must obey the same rules of the road as vehicles
    • Always ride on the right-hand side of the road
    • Helmet required for minors (under 18 years old) on bike, scooter or skateboard
    • Once on campus, please walk with your bike, scooter, or skateboard
    • No passengers on bicycle unless separate seat is attached

    As a Pedestrian:

    • Always use crosswalks
    • Obey the crossing guards  

If the Helmet Fits...

  • Our children are constantly growing and changing, and there is one life-saving tool they use on a regular basis that should be checked regularly to ensure it is still the best fit -- their helmets!  To make sure your child's helmet fits properly, you can use the 2-V-1 rule!
    • There should be a two-finger distance between the helmet and your brow.  
    • The straps should make a "V" around your ear.
    • You should be able to fit one finger between your chin and the strap.
     Helmet Sizing PIctures
    Image courtesy of the Ottawa Public Health Department.