School started this week, which means those roads and crosswalks are gonna be seeing a lot more back and forth action.
Which, of course, means the posted 30 km/h speed limit in a school zone is not a mere decoration, but a stern indication of what – or who, may be ahead, either if it’s a group a of students, a school bus, or a busy parent dropping off their kids in the van.
As such, drivers are asked to slow down and keep a sharp eye during this time of year, considering that every year, 72 children are injured in crashes in or around school and playground zones in B.C.
If drivers won’t slow down, then there’s a fix for that too.
“We will be increasing our patrols as school returns,” said Sooke RCMP Const. John Treen, pointing out that police will target speeders and distracted drivers in full force.
And the RCMP may not be the only ones watching either.
“We have a standing invite for the Road Safety Integrated Unit to be in our area at all times, especially targeting speed and distracted driving,” Treen said.
There’s good reason for that, of course. On Vancouver Island, an average of two children (aged five to 18) are killed and 55 are injured in crashes every year. In school and playground zones, 13 children are injured every year.
Stiffer fines for ignoring rules have gone in effect, too.
“Higher fines are a reflection of how much of an importance the province places on people’s driving habits specifically in school zones where young people are at risk,” Treen said.
School safety can also work both ways. Students and parents crossing the road should equally be mindful of their surroundings, without assuming a driver will automatically see them.
“It’s a busy time for everyone, but people still need to be careful,” Treen said.