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COMMUNITY BRINGS SCHOOL ZONE SAFETY TO THE FOREFRONT

Working together
In partnership with Happy Valley Elementary’s PTO, the City is making a concerted effort to promote safety when it comes to school zones. Highlighting the school’s PTO Take30 safety campaign, the City and Happy Valley Police have joined forces to further encourage both drivers and pedestrians to take an active role in establishing safe habits and routines when using the roads. With a focus on crosswalk safety, efforts on behalf of the City also extend to sharing information related to the effects of distracted driving and speed, as well as tips and best practices when it comes to parking lot safety, and visibility. By partnering together, the hope is to generate valuable conversations amongst community members that ultimately decrease accidents and injuries and ensure healthy and safe behaviors.

In the news
In April’s issue of HV News, the City’s community writer shed light on a group effort aimed at creating increased safety for students walking to school.

Keeping kids out of harm’s way: Happy Valley Elementary School’s PTO tackles traffic safety

By SHELLEY McFARLAND

The Happy Valley Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization saw a problem — too many cars and too much chaos getting students to and from school.

Safety was a big concern, especially after a student was hit by a car in the crosswalk. The PTO banded together, listened to parents and, with the help of the city of Happy Valley, worked to solve it.

“We had a meeting set already to talk about the Fun Run event in the spring. The week before we met is when the student was hit by the car. As parents who were involved with the school, we knew it was a nightmare … and we reached out to the city to see if we could do something together about the situation,” PTO co-President Tawna Thomas said. “Steve Campbell, our connection, loved it, and that’s how our collaboration started.”

To read entire article click here.

Safety first, always
The Happy Valley Police Department has been making school zone safety a priority with increased patrols during peak traffic times – namely school drop off and pickup. Traffic flow is understandably impeded during these times, as is parking and general safety concerns related to visibility as students, parents, teachers, and drivers are coming and going in mass numbers. The City’s public safety team, engineering department, and public works staff have dedicated many hours performing onsite evaluations and mitigating safety concerns. The police department has ultimately been a key player in helping the City, school staff, and residents attempt to problem-solve issues, and has worked in tandem with the City, including the City’s Traffic and Public Safety Committee, to partner with schools every step of the way.

Throughout the month of April, deputies are enhancing their patrol ten-fold with particular increased attention on drivers who fail to stop at a crosswalk when pedestrians are present. By expanding its educational outreach, Happy Valley Police aim to help curb avoidable accidents and injuries, and call attention to the need to approach school zones with patience, caution, and the utmost reserve.

Putting social media to good use

To further demonstrate the importance of the Take30 school zone safety campaign efforts, the City is working alongside the Happy Valley PTO and Happy Valley Police Department to augment educational outreach throughout the month of April. Through a series of graphics rooted in data and reminders the City hopes to hammer home the seriousness of school zone safety through five tenants: crosswalks, distractions, speed, parking lots, and visibility. The content is careful to appeal to both drivers and pedestrians, who must ultimately work together to ensure safety for all.

Let’s Walk and Roll!
To bring even more awareness to this important subject, Happy Valley Parks and Recreation will be joining the initiative by hosting an event that celebrates safe routes to school. On Friday, May 20, Parks and Recreation will support the PTO’s efforts in encouraging students and parents of Happy Valley Elementary and Happy Valley Middle School to ditch the car, truck, and SUV, and instead opt to walk or bike to class. The event includes an opportunity to pick up some fun giveaway items and there will be complimentary coffee, water, and pastries, all courtesy of Happy Valley Parks and Recreation. Of course, Happy Valley Police deputies will also be on hand to greet students as they enter the school buildings and will be providing some fun items at the event as well.

Partnering with Schools
The City and Happy Valley Police are proud to partner in the efforts of Happy Valley PTO to bring awareness to the importance of school zone safety. Their hope is to support the grassroots efforts of this community ally and help extend the communications reach of their cause. Is your school’s PTO/PTA/Parent Council interested in creating a school safety zone event? Have your representative connect with Steve Campbell, the City of Happy Valley’s Director of Public Safety at 503-783-3800.

Want more information?
Check out these other helpful resources aimed at increasing safety on the road.

Oregon Impact: www.oregonimpact.org

Provides educational experiences to end impaired and distracted driving. Oregon Impact also provides programs to ensure that our children are riding safely on our roadways, teens understand the consequences of impaired and distracted driving, and the adults in their lives are given the tools to guide them.

Oregon Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School: www.oregonsaferoutes.org/walkroll

Information about different programs, resources, events, and funding opportunities.

Clackamas County Drive to Zero: www.clackamas.us/drivetozero

Building a safe driving culture that focuses on reducing injuries and fatalities on our roadways

Clackamas County Safe Routes to School: www.clackamas.us/engineering/srts.html

Helps create safe walking, rolling and bicycling conditions for K-12 students throughout the County.

National Center for Safe Routes to School: www.saferoutesinfo.org
This is a great resource for training opportunities and program materials. It also houses tools for collecting data and can generate automatic reports.

The Street Trust: www.thestreettrust.org

An advocacy organization that promotes healthy and thriving communities where it is safe and easy for people to bike, walk and ride public transit. Their website includes information about walk and bike events, curriculum, rules of the road, and safe streets advocacy opportunities.