Safety First

Quick Links: Walking SafelyBiking SafelySkating & Scooting SafelyHelmet SafetyHelmet FittingLocking Your Bike • Know the LawDriving Safely

Walking, Biking and Driving Safely

We have just realeased this handy guide for all parents, students and residents that highlights the benefits of the Safe Routes to School Program. It also points out essential safety tips for walking, biking and driving safely in the school zone. To dowload a copy, click HERE or click the image to the right.


As our Safe Routes to School Program unfolds, we ask all parents to set a good example for their children. Be mindful that children learn from our behavior, so when walking, biking or even driving to school, we create wonderful opportunities to teach our children about safety - crossing at corners, not rushing to cross a street before the blinking hand stops, or always wearing a helmet on bikes, skateboards and scooters.  

But even if you must drive, know your kids are paying attention then too. Carpooling more or parking just a few blocks from schools is a good place to start. Remembering to not be a distracted driver, parking safely or only dropping off children at curbs are few examples of good, positive behavior to strive for. 

For more information and walking, biking and driving safely tips, please click on the 3 BLOCK CHALLENGE image to the right 

Walking Safely

  • Know your route. Try a practice walk together.

  • Whenever possible, walk in groups.

  • Always tell someone where you are going, and if possible when you will return.

  • Never hitchhike or take rides from people not arranged by your parents.

  • Walk on sidewalks. If no sidewalks exist where you are walking, walk along the shoulder, in the direction of traffic.

  • Stop at all curbs, intersections and alleyways.

  • Always cross at corners. Avoid mid-block crossings whenever possible.

  • Look both ways before crossing, left, right, left again. Remember this little rhyme: “Before I use my feet, to cross the street, here is something that can’t be beat... Stop, Look and Listen and then repeat

  • Wait until traffic is clear in both directions before crossing.

  • Cross in a straight line. Continue looking for traffic as you cross.

  • If you are walking in the evening be sure to wear bright clothing, reflectors or carry a light.

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Biking Safely

  • ALWAYS wear a helmet. In California, riders under 18 must wear a helmet, but we recommend EVERYONE wear one at all times when cycling. Wearing a helmet can prevent up to 85% of head traumas, should you be in a collision, so it’s not only smart, it’s the law. 

  • Your bike should have a proper set of reflectors: Front (white), back (red), pedals (yellow/white) and wheels (white). Add lights if you’re riding at night. A front light is required by law for night riding, but we recommend a back light as well. (CVC 21201).

  • Be visible – Avoid blind spots of cars. Pay extra attention at intersections and driveways.

  • Be predictable. Ride on the street, in the direction of traffic.

  • Children under 12 should ride on the sidewalk. Riders under the age of 12 lack the traffic awareness to make the decisions necessary for safe riding on streets.

  • When riding on sidewalks, use speeds that are safe and appropriate and remember that pedestrians have the right of way. Use a bell or horn to alert pedestrians.

  • Check that your bike is ready to ride. Keep your tires inflated, seat properly adjusted and make sure brakes and gears are operating correctly. Perform an ABC Quick Check before every ride: A = Air Pressure; B = Brakes; C = Chain and Drive train; Quick = quick releases; Check = take a quick spin to insure eveything is in good working order. For details, check out this link from the League of American Bicyclists

  • Carry a water bottle.

  • If you are biking in the evening be sure to wear bright clothing, reflectors or carry a light.

  • Carry a bike lock and remember to lock your bike. All our schools have inverted U shaped racks, or “U Racks”, similar to what has been installed throughout Culver City. U-racks provide a more stable and secure bike parking option to racks that only secure one wheel. Skateboard racks have also been installed at Culver City Middle School and Culver City High School and all schools also have a dedicated scooter rack. 

    Locking TIps, click HERE

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Skating & Scooting Safely

  • Always wear your helmet. Practice this rule at home and elsewhere: "If there are wheels under your feet, there should be a helmet on your head".

  • Skate and scoot on the sidewalk. 

  • Stop at all intersections, corners and alleyways.

  • Only cross at corners. Avoid mid-block crossings.

  • Look before crossing: Left, right, left again.

  • Pay extra attention while crossing driveways. You are moving faster than a walker and cars may have difficulty seeing you as they enter and exit driveways.

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Helmet Safety

Parents AND children: wear a bike helmet EVERY TIME YOU RIDE.

Parents, when you do not wear a helmet while riding, you set a poor example. Wearing a helmet can prevent up to 85% of head trauma, should you be involved in a collision. No matter how safe we ride or how good of a rider we think we are, we have no control over the car that doesn’t see us or misses a stop sign or traffic light. As soon as kids are on anything with wheels – skates, scooter, bikes, skateboards – helmets should be automatic. A good rule of thumb is if there are wheels under your feet, there should be a helmet on your head. This will help you avoid the “why do I have to wear a helmet” discussion. We don’t question the value of seatbelts, and helmets should be the same.

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Helmet Fitting

Your helmet should fit properly, be worn level and cover your forehead. Make sure the straps are fastened. Use the “Eyes, Ears, Mouth” test: If your helmet is on properly: Look up – you should be able to see your helmet with your EYES without tilting your head; the straps should encircle your EARS comfortably; if the strap is adjusted properly, you should be able to open your MOUTH wide and feel the helmet snug against your head. Check out this guide to helmet fitting from the Natonal Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Locking Your Bike, Skateboard or Scooter

No bike lock will guarantee that a bike will not be stolen. However, the more securely you lock your bike, the more likely it will be there when you return. Practicing good locking techniques will help ensure your bike is just the way you left it.

• Cable locks are lightweight and inexpensive, but offer minimal security.

• A high security chain or U lock provides a higher level of security.

• Always try to lock your frame and at least one wheel. 

• Lock two wheels when possible

• Skateboard racks are designed to be used with a padlock.

• Report theft to the authorities as soon as possible. Taking a picture of your bike and recording the serial number may help you recover your bike if it is stolen.

For more information on how to lock your bike, skateboard or scooter safely, click on the LOCK IT OR LOSE IT image to the right.

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Know the Law

It is important to know and understand current traffic laws both in the state of California and within the local jurisdictions in which you will be riding. When riding on the street, a cyclist must obey the same traffic laws as other vehicles.

  • Riding on Sidewalks. In Culver City, it is legal to ride on sidewalks in residential areas only (CCMC 7.04.250). However, we recommend that children under the age of 12 ride on the sidewalk as they do not have the awareness to safely navigate traffic. 

  • Riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet – CVC 21212

  • Bicycles must be equipped with operational brakes – CVC 21201

  • Bikes must ride on the right side of the road, with the flow of traffic  – do NOT ride against traffic – CVC 21202

  • Do not wear headphones or headsets when riding – CVC 27400

  • Do not use a cellphone while riding

  • Do not carry packages that prohibit you from keeping at least one hand on the handlebar- CCMC 7.04.235

  • Use hand signals when turning – CVC 22107, CVC 22111

* CVC: California Vehicle Code

** CCMC: Culver City Municple Code

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Driving Safely Around Schools

We understand that many parents drive to school on a regular basis. On those days, please consider parking 3-5 blocks away and walking to school with your child(ren) and please observe these extra cautions:

  • Children are small and unpredictable. Please pay extra attention when driving in school zones.
  • Slow down. Observe all posted speed limits.
  • Stop at all stop signs and look carefully before proceeding.
  • When exiting a driveway, stop at the sidewalk (not the street) and check for children before entering the street
  • Avoid distractions such as cell phones, drinks and even the radio for the short time you are in the school zone
  • Always park safely and drop off or pick up your child(ren) only at the curb.
  • Do not double park and allow children to exit/enter your car while walking between other cars.
  • Do not drop off or pick up from across the street and encourage children to exit / enter on the drivers (street) side.
  • If using a drop zone, obey the school's policies. Generally: pull forward and stop at the designated area. Wait until an attendant is available to assist your children before exiting the car. Move quickly so as not to hold up the line. Before stopping, be sure backpacks are packed and ready to go, and your children have all their belongings. When leaving the drop zone, be sure to check for traffic and other children before proceeding.

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