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

Langley chamber of commerce CEO named executive of the year by Canadian chamber

Colleen Clark has nearly 25 years of experience in the chamber network

Spartans make it four in a row

Langley-based TWU womens soccer team keeps Alberta rivals scoreless

VIDEO: Rock and gem show a smashing good time in Aldergrove

Club marks 60 years with weekend show and sale

VIDEO: A moment to remember during day three of the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday in Langley

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Over 200 Hotel Georgia hospitality workers join ‘open-ended strike’

Unionized workers at Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront have also walked out

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Hiker rescued after spending night on Crown Mountain

North Shore Rescue spotted the woman by helicopter over Hanes Valley

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read