Going back to school safely

“Everyone should plan ahead for the return of the school season because the roads will be much busier, so remember to leave earlier to avoid rushing, stay focused on the road and use extra caution, especially around school zones.” 

School zones will be in effect starting September 3, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, unless otherwise posted.

John Dickinson, ICBC’s director of road safety, adds that the recommendation also extends to older children, who he says should be reminded to remove earbuds and headphones when walking and always make eye contact with drivers. 

North of 100 Mile House, on average seven children aged five to 18 are killed each year in crashes. Another 340 are injured in those 1,090 incidents. 

ICBC has the following tips for both drivers and parents and students: 

Tips for drivers:

  • When school is back in session, don’t forget that every school day, unless otherwise posted, a 30-km/h speed limit is in effect in school zones from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • When you’re dropping off your children in school zones, stop and allow them to exit the car on the side closest to the sidewalk. Never allow a child to cross mid-block.
  • If a vehicle is stopped in front of you or in the lane next to you, they may be yielding to a pedestrian, so be prepared to stop. Always yield to pedestrians – it’s the law.
  • School buses will be back on our roads. Vehicles approaching from both directions must stop for school buses when their lights are flashing.
  • Before getting into your vehicle, make a habit of walking around your vehicle to make sure no small children are behind it. Always look for pedestrians when you’re backing up.

Tips for parents and students:

Post these safety tips in your home and review them with your children – even older children need to be reminded about road safety.

  • Remove your headphones and put away your phone or other gadgets when crossing the street. Focus on the road so you can see, hear and respond safely.
  • Make eye contact with drivers, so you both know you see each other.
  • Road safety lessons should be fun and interactive. Memorize the chorus of “Walk ‘n’ Roll,” a song by children’s musician Will Stroet, which is included in ICBC’s kindergarten to grade three road safety curriculum: “Wear something bright; Look left and look right; Wait for the light; Make sure you’re in the driver’s eyesight.”
  • Teach your child to cross at intersections that have a pedestrian crossing light or a marked crosswalk whenever possible. Even at a crosswalk, be aware of traffic and always make sure that vehicles are stopped before walking. Use designated crossing points and follow pedestrian traffic signs and signals.
  • Dress to be seen. Wear bright or light coloured clothing. In dark or bad weather, wear reflective material on clothes or accessories.
  • Always walk on the inside edge of the sidewalk. This way, you’re further away from traffic. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic so you can see oncoming vehicles and drivers see you.
  • Be aware of parked vehicles in a parking lot or on the road. A driver may not see you between parked vehicles and you may not see them moving. Before crossing or walking through a parking lot, stop and look left-right-left around parked vehicles. Children should avoid taking shortcuts through parking lots.

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About Erica Fisher 4010 Articles

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.