RCMP offer tips to start school year off safely

Police will be out enforcing school zones

Schools back in session Tuesday, Sept. 5. The roads will be busy with parents, school buses, and kids eager to start the school year. File photo

With the beginning of the school year on Sept. 5, the RCMP remind drivers to be careful and watch for children on the roads as they head back to class.

The start of the school year also means school zone speed limits will be in effect throughout the region with maximum speed limits of 30 km/h during scheduled school days of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Police will be closely monitoring drivers’ speeds in school zones across Langley and the entire Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland.

Here are some safety tips from RCMP and ICBC to get drivers and pedestrians off on a good start this school year:

Drivers:

· When dropping off your children in school zones, allow them time to exit the vehicle on the side closest to the sidewalk. Never allow a child to cross the street 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 proceed with caution and be prepared to stop.

· Watch for school buses. Vehicles approaching from both directions must stop for school buses when their lights are flashing.

· Do not operate a mobile device when driving. It is illegal for drivers to hold, operate, communicate or watch the screen of a hand-held electronic communication device.

Pedestrians:

• 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.

• Stay alert until you have safely reached the other side of the road, cars can come from all directions.

• Stay ‘unplugged’ and leave gadgets in backpacks when walking or cycling, this will allow you to focus on the road, see, hear, and respond safely.

• Wear high visibility clothing.