- The Capital Regional District (CRD), CRD Traffic Safety Commission and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) are reminding drivers to do their part in keeping students safe by slowing down in school zones. This September, extra signs will be in place reminding drivers to “Remember your Back-to-School Brakes”.
While this is a busy time of year for everyone, it is important to take the time to help students get safely to and from school. Across the Capital Region, one third of students walk or bike to school every day, which puts over 10,000 students on the roads and sidewalks around their local schools. School zones have a 30km/hr speed limit in effect every school day from 8am to 5pm. Driving at slower speeds and being extra cautious allows time to react to children’s unexpected movements, reducing the chances of crashes, injury and death. Drivers are encouraged to be extra cautious on the roads and to watch for children.
Walking and biking is a fun and safe way for children to get to school, but they can be unpredictable on the roads when excited about returning to school and seeing their friends. Back to school is a great time to remind children of the rules of the road and how to see and be seen on our roads.
Active and Safe Routes to School Program
The CRD has been working with twenty schools across the region to encourage and enable more students to walk and bike to school. Through the Active and Safe Routes to School program, parents and principals have identified concerns about road safety, including traffic speed. Drivers can do their part by slowing down in school zones.
For more information, visit: www.crd.bc.ca/project/regional-transportation/active-safe-routes-to-school
Attached: Top Tips for Drivers, Parents and Students
The CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at www.crd.bc.ca.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications
ICBC Road Safety Coordinator, South Vancouver Island
Top Tips for Drivers, Parents and Students
Six tips for drivers
- Every school day, unless otherwise posted, a 30-km/hr speed limit is in effect in school zones from 8 am to 5 pm.
- Take your time and don't rush - especially through intersections. Look for children especially near or around crosswalks and intersections.
- 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 is stopped in front of you or in the lane next to you, they may be yielding to a pedestrian, so be prepared to stop.
- Watch for school buses. Vehicles approaching from both directions must stop for school buses when their lights are flashing.
- Before getting into your vehicle, walk around your vehicle to make sure no small children are behind it. Always look for pedestrians when you’re backing up.
Seven tips for parents and students
Post these safety tips in your home and review them with your children – even older children need to be reminded about road safety.
- Map it out. Plan your child’s walking route to school with them ahead of time. Review street names and landmarks to orient them.
- Set a good example. Never jaywalk or run to cross the street. Where possible, cross at intersections with a pedestrian crossing light or marked crosswalk.
- Look. Make sure all vehicles have stopped before entering the road. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing, even if the walk signal is on.
- Listen. Put away the electronic gadgets, cell phone and ear buds so you can hear approaching traffic that may be hard to see.
- Be seen. Wear bright clothes and/or reflective gear especially at night and in poor weather.
- Parked vehicles. Avoid shortcuts through parking lots or around parked cars where it’s harder for drivers to see small children.
- Sidewalk/no sidewalk. Walk on the inside edge of the sidewalk away from the road, so you’re further away from traffic. Walk facing oncoming traffic if there isn’t a sidewalk, so you can see approaching vehicles and make eye contact with drivers.
Source: Based on ICBC’s top tips for drivers, parents and students.