What You Need to Know About Blue Zones

  • Statement of Purpose

    It is more evident now than at any other time in the history of Newton’s Public Education that traffic conditions within school zones, both prior to and at dismissal of school, are a potential threat to the well-being of the students of our city.
    We have two choices as a community. One choice is to accept such conditions as going hand-in-hand with our changing social and economic climates. The second, obviously preferable, choice is to make every attempt possible to improve unsafe traffic conditions.

    This booklet is the result of our commitment to improve driving habits and/or decrease traffic congestion around the schools. Success in achieving our goals, however, will be determined by how effectively and cooperatively we work together.

    We are asking you to join with the Police and School Departments and with the members of the School Traffic Safety Committee (STS) in making a commitment to protect all of our children as they enter and leave school. Please review the recommended traffic pattern of your school and follow it when driving your child to school. It is our hope that you will help your children develop good pedestrian habits so that they may arrive and depart school safely.

    The Blue Zone: School Drop-off and Pick-up Zones

    The city of Newton has created designated drop-off and pick-up areas at many schools in the city. These school drop off and pick up zones have been created and authorized by city ordinance #19-179 and are commonly referred to as “Blue-Zones”.

    School drop-off and pick-up zones were designed to allow for improved traffic flow and safer drop off and pick up of students. School drop off zones are in effect Monday through Friday on days that school is in session. The ordinance specifically states:

    •No vehicle may park in a school drop off zone from 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of school until the scheduled start of school.
    •No vehicle may park in a school drop off zone from one hour prior to the scheduled end of school until 30 minutes after the scheduled end
     of school.
    •Vehicles may stop in the school drop off zone during the above restricted times to engage in the dropping off or picking up of passengers,
     which shall not be permitted for a period of longer than one (1) minute.
    Parking is allowed in a school drop off zone outside of restricted times.

    For these drop off and pick up zones to work correctly, the following must occur:

       •No vehicles may be parked or left unattended in a school drop off zone during the restricted times. This includes parents waiting for their
        child to come out of or go into the school.
       •No illegally parked vehicles can be waiting near the school, for example in restricted parking areas, within corners, blocking driveways,    
        bus stops, etc.
       •Parents should not pick up students when double or tripled parked.
       •Students must enter and exit on the sidewalk side of the vehicle.
       •Other parking restrictions around the school area must be enforced.

    Walk and Ride

    Walking gives children an opportunity to:

    Walking reduces:

    •Tension, stress, and anxiety
    Walking develops:

    •Good judgment & good decision making skills
    Start a walking partnership:

    •With other children in the neighborhood
    •With other families and take turns supervising
    •Between a child and a senior citizen living nearby
    Do a combination walk and ride!

    •Before school, drive to within a block or two of the school and let children walk the remaining distance. After school, arrange to meet your
     child in a pre-arranged location at least one block from the school.

    Traffic Violations that Frequently Occur in School Zones
    1. Parking a motor vehicle in such restricted areas as “Live Parking Only”; “No Parking”; “School Pick-up/Drop-off Zones” or limited time zones can also lead to a $25.00 fine.
    2. Double parking is defined as stopping or parking on the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge of a curb or sidewalk. Double parking can result in a $15.00 fine.
    3. Crosswalks are those portions of a roadway clearly marked for pedestrian crossing. Stopping or parking in a crosswalk can result in a $25.00 fine. Driving into a pedestrian crossing when a pedestrian is present can result in a $200.00 fine.
    4. School Bus Stops are areas of the roadway set aside for the parking of buses only. Unauthorized motor vehicles stopped or parked in bus stops can result in a $15.00 fine.
    5. Parking within 20 feet of an intersection can result in a $15.00 fine, and parking within 5 feet of a driveway is illegal and can result in a $25.00 fine.

    Newton Police Department
    Newton School Department
    School Traffic Safety Committee
    December 2006