Going back to school this year will be different in many ways, but one thing will remain the same: drivers need to slow down and stay focused, as kids make their way to and from school on foot or by bike. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility.
“Traffic safety remains a top priority for Vancouver Police,” says Constable Tania Visintin, VPD. “We are stepping up enforcement in and around the schools and reminding drivers to be especially vigilant this year.”
Vancouver has 89 elementary schools, and with over 60,000 kids in all the schools there are new routines and routes that drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are using to get to their destinations. Drivers are reminded to be cautious and drive with care as students may be travelling to school at staggered times throughout the day.
Vancouver Police are offering the following reminders to drivers:
- Plan ahead and be alert. Look for children near or around crosswalks and intersections.
- Drivers are reminded to leave more time to get to their destinations and to be mindful of the 30km/hr speed limits in school zones.
- Drivers can be fined $196 for disobeying the speed limit.
- Always yield to pedestrians – it’s the law.
- Put down the phone and don’t drive distracted.
- Never pass a stopped school bus when the bus lights are flashing. Drivers can be fined $368.
- When dropping off 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.
It is important to start teaching children road safety from an early age, and a good idea for parents to review basic safety tips often.
Vancouver Police are offering the following reminders to parents and students:
- Make eye contact with drivers.
- Look both ways before you cross the street and always cross at a marked crosswalk or an intersection with a pedestrian crossing light whenever possible.
- Don’t use headphones and put away phones or other gadgets when crossing the street – focus on the road.
ICBC statistics show that 61 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year in Vancouver.
“Through enforcement and education we are hoping to bring the numbers down and keep everyone safe,” adds Constable Visintin.