Slow down; be aware and safe

We need to make sure our children get to and from school safely

School is back in session for a part day on Sept. 7 and it will full time the next day, so it means we have to be careful to make sure students get to and from school safely.

Students of all ages are excited about going back to school to see their friends, meet new teachers or, perhaps, they’re embarking on a new chapter of their lives.

The last thing we want to happen is to have that excitement come crashing down on them.

As motorists, we have to take the initial safety steps, as we are the ones driving the vehicles that do the damage.

We have to remember the maximum speed limit in a school zone is 30 km/h, and it doesn’t hurt to slow down a bit more if there are a lot of children on the sidewalks, especially near crosswalks and intersections.

So, here is the irony of the 30 km/h speed limit in the school zones – it’s exactly the same speed limit for all roads in the District of 100 Mile House. The exceptions are 50 km/h speed limits on Horse Lake and Exeter roads and Highway 97.

Unfortunately, most people in this neck of the woods don’t drive within the speed limit within the municipal boundaries.

Motorists – know the limit and drive within it.

The 30 km/h speed limit posted in school zones is in effect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and we should always stop for pedestrians – it’s the law.

It is also important to note vehicles approaching from both directions must stop for school buses when their lights are flashing.

If a vehicle is stopped in front of us, it may have yielded for a pedestrian, so we have to be prepared to stop, too.

When we’re dropping children off in school zones, we should stop and allow them to exit the vehicle from the door closest to the sidewalk.

We should never allow our children to cross mid-block.

However, students also need to be safety wise and road wary to avoid accidents.

They must not be distracted when they are going to and from school, especially when they are walking through intersections and crosswalks.

Older students need to stop texting and remove headphones or ear buds when crossing the street.

They must not jaywalk, as it is both dangerous and it also sets a bad example for younger children.

As parents, we need to teach our children to look both ways and make eye contact with a motorist before crossing the road.

These are simple safety rules, and if they are practised daily, everyone will have a safe and happy day.

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