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With school back in session, drivers and students need to keep an eye on each other

The school bells will ring again this week as students head back to class for the upcoming academic year.

ICBC is reminding both students and drivers to be aware of each other as more kids will be seen at crosswalks and school zones.

“The kids are excited about going so parents just need to make sure the children are watching for the3 traffic and that they are well dressed and that they are crossing at crosswalks and for drivers, you just want to slow down, give them lots of time and expect the unexpected,” said Christine Kirby, Road Safety Coordinator.

She adds students also need to do the same in return.

“Make sure you make eye contact with the driver, cross at crosswalks, don’t jaywalk and take your time.”

RCMP Community Policing Units will also be out in full force this week as the 30 km/hr speed limit in school zones is back in effect.

About 380 children are injured in crashes every year while walking or cycling and six are killed throughout the province.

In Northern BC, 14 children walking or cycling are injured in crashes every year. In school and playground zones, eight children are injured in crashes every year.

While schools begins this week across the province, Grassy Plains students will begin class on September 17th due to the wildfire situation.

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ICBC’s Drive Smart tips for drivers:

  • When you’re dropping off your children in school zones, allow them to exit the car on the side closest to the sidewalk. Never allow a child to cross mid-block.
  • If a vehicle’s 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 and when their lights are flashing, vehicles approaching from both directions must stop.
  • Before getting into your vehicle, walk around it to make sure no small children are hidden from your view. Always look for pedestrians when you’re backing up.
  • In residential areas, a hockey net or ball can mean that kids are playing nearby. Watch for children as they could dash into the street at any moment.
  • Remember 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. In playground zones, a 30 km/h speed limit is in effect every day from dawn to dusk.

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