The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

With start of school, keep safety in mind


August 30, 2018

To The Eagle:

As the new school year begins, we here at the Wahkiakum County Sheriff's Office wish to remind folks to take extra caution as children, staff, and parents drive or walk to school and home. We will have extra traffic patrols near the school to enforce speed, stop sign, and bus paddle enforcement.

One of the violations we have seen increase in the last couple of years is drivers passing a school bus while the stop paddle is extended (RCW 46.61.370). Not only is the fine for this violation $419, but passing a school bus with a stop paddle extended highly increases the risk of striking a child unaware as they cross the road in front of a bus. The most dangerous area around a school bus for a child is a 10-foot zone. Take extra caution while approaching a stopped school bus.

Another area that has had many close calls is at the stop signs along South Third Street in Cathlamet. In people's rush to get to the schools, drivers have nearly struck pedestrians crossing the street to the school grounds. Come to a complete stop and look for pedestrians before proceeding. That extra one second it takes to completely stop and look both ways is well worth the time to avoid hitting a child walking to school.

Most people have already noticed the speed limit on SR4 from Boege Road to the Elochoman Valley Road has decreased to 45 mph. As well, a turn lane has been added into and out of the school access road to allow for more traffic safety and clarity when vehicles and buses turn to and from the school road. These changes are going to help increase safe driving at the north entrance to the schools. These small changes make a big difference in school safety.

The sheriff's office wishes everyone a safe and exciting new school year and we hope that all our Wahkiakum County students do well in all of their endeavors!

Sheriff Mark Howie

Wahkiakum County Sheriff's Office


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