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Posted on: August 24, 2021

New School Year Starts Aug. 31: More Walkers and Traffic Possible Near North Bend Schools


Snoqualmie Valley students return to classrooms on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. The return to full-time, in-person learning – combined with a bus driver shortage - means the potential for more students walking to/from North Bend area schools and more parents transporting their children to/from school.

The Snoqualmie Valley School District recently announced some bus route suspensions due to an ongoing driver shortage that includes some Twin Falls Middle School routes.  See SVSD announcement HERE.

Drivers are encouraged to slow down, follow posted school zone speed limits and use extra caution to protect the safety of pedestrians on their way to class.

With school buses back on local roads regularly, it’s also important for drivers to refresh themselves on the rules of school bus stops.

Follow school bus laws, as well as the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:

  • Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
  • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

Remember these helpful school bus stop safety tips from the Washington State Patrol:

  • You must ALWAYS stop if you are traveling in the same direction as the school bus.
  • On a two-lane road, traffic in both directions need to stop.
  • If there are three or more lanes (including if one lane is a turn lane), or a divided roadway, you are not required to stop if you’re traveling in the opposite direction of the bus.
  • Please keep in mind, even if you are not required to stop, you should proceed with caution.
  • Failure to stop for a school bus can result in a $430 citation.

The City of North Bend will monitor traffic near North Bend Elementary, Opstad Elementary, and Twin Falls Middle School for increased traffic related to the bus driver shortage and plans to mitigate traffic if the need arises.

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