Police urge drivers to watch for kids on the road as they head back to school

More than 80 kids are hit in school and playground zones each year

As streets and neighbourhoods fill up with backpack-toting kids for back-to-school, B.C. police are asking drivers to be extra careful on the roads.

“The start of school is an exciting time for both students and parents. The safety of children is our priority and our officers will be strict when they are enforcing the rules around school zones,” said Vancouver police Insp. Loris Zuccato.

“We all have a role to play in keeping students safe as they travel to and from school.”

More than 600,000 students headed back to class as another school year kicked off on Tuesday.

READ MORE: School zone speed limits back on in Maple Ridge

Police detachments around the province are teaming up with Insurance Corp. of B.C. for the “Think of Me” campaign, which asks drivers to pay attention in school zones and be cautious of kids near school buses.

Our goal is to educate and enforce school zone violations with a particular focus on distracted driving,” said Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughling.

“If you’re tired of hearing that message from police officers, perhaps you’ll be more receptive to hand-drawn ‘Think of Me’ cards that have been made by the students themselves.”

(Coquitlam RCMP)

The British Columbia Automobile Association is warning drivers to be especially watchful in the first few weeks of school, as both parents, kids and other drivers get reacquainted with having more little ones crowding the streets.

ICBC statistics show that 51 kids in the Lower Mainland are injured each year while in school and playground zones.

According to Dr. Ian Pike of The Community Against Preventable Injuries, those numbers have not dropped over the past 10 years.

“We wish to remind drivers to be alert, focused, not on their phones, and to drive like they expect a child to run out into the road,” said Pike.

Police ticketed nearly 8,000 drivers around the province for speeding or not paying attention in school and playground zones.

ICBC’s Drive Smart tips for drivers:

  • 3o km/h speed limits are in effect from 8 a.m. – 5p.m. in school zones on all school days
  • Playgrounds have s30 km/h speed limits in effect every day from dawn to dusk
  • When dropping off kids for school, always get them to exit on the sidewalk side of the car
  • Don’t let kids cross midblock
  • Follow the lead of other drivers if they stop suddenly in a school zone
  • Watch for school buses and when their lights are flashing, vehicles approaching from both directions must stop.
  • Always look for kids and other pedestrians when starting to drive in a school zone
  • In residential areas, a hockey net or ball can mean that kids are playing nearby

@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Community steps up to get Sources’ food bank truck on the road

Individuals, businesses help fix vehicle that had been damaged by theft

Rainstorm drenches Lower Mainland as snow falls on the Sea-to-Sky

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

Man climbs tree to evade police after Surrey RCMP called to domestic dispute

The man was 60 feet up the tree for hours, according to a Black Press freelancer at the scene

South Surrey grad wins Rhodes Scholarship

$100,000 award means Semi alumna Katherine Reiss will study at Oxford University

White Rock sandcastle competition on the rocks

Backers of the proposal – the White Rock Events Society – plan to call it quits

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

‘I thought I was dead as soon as I saw the gun’

Keremeos gas station attendant tells story about man with gun coming to store

5 to start your day

Torched-SUV victim from Surrey ‘had the purest heart,’ TransLink will bring free WiFi to buses, SkyTrain and Seabus by 2020 and more

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

BCHL’ers blanked by Russia at World Junior A Challenge

Canada West loses battle of the unbeaten teams in the preliminary round

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

Most Read

l -->