The traffic-calming measures that have reduced school zone speeding at Parkside Elementary on 32 Ave. have now been replicated in front of the Shortreed school and park zones on 28 Ave.

The traffic-calming measures that have reduced school zone speeding at Parkside Elementary on 32 Ave. have now been replicated in front of the Shortreed school and park zones on 28 Ave.

Remember to think ‘safety first’ for back to school

Children will be heading back to school on September 6, and officials are reminding parents and all other motorists to watch out for youngsters and obey the rules of the road, especially around schools.

Days are busy, schedules are hectic, and you need to take the kids to school then get to work.

So does every parent.

Children will be heading back to school on September 6, and officials are reminding parents and all other motorists to watch out for youngsters and obey the rules of the road, especially around schools.

“Enforcing these laws is not a cash grab, it’s not done to randomly inconvenience people – it’s to keep kids safe,” said Township of Langley Bylaw Manager Bill Storie. “In their rush to drop off and pick up their children, parents sometimes forget that laws are in place to protect children – all children.”

During the back to school season, Township bylaw officers will be maintaining a presence at local schools to ensure drivers do not park in No Parking zones. Langley RCMP will also be enforcing the 30km/h speed limit in school zones between 8am and 5pm.

Bylaw Officer Simon Jottey, who was hired in June specifically for traffic enforcement, says the easiest way to keep kids safe when heading back to school is to reduce the number of cars in the area.

“If you live fairly close by and have sidewalks, walk or bike your kids to school,” he said. “It may be convenient – and a habit – to take the car, but walking or biking also not only cuts down on traffic congestion, it provides good exercise and is better for the environment.”

Those who do drive their kids to school tend to have many excuses for violating No Parking rules, the most common of which is, “But I will just be a second.” However, no excuse will be accepted, Storie said, as ‘No Parking’ signs and yellow curb lines are there for a reason: either visibility is restricted or they are to prevent children from running out into traffic as they cross the street to a waiting vehicle.

He added that cars in restricted areas are still considered illegally parked, even if the driver is inside.

“It is true that some of our schools were not built to accommodate the traffic that is now coming to them,” he said, “but that does not give people the right to park in restricted areas. They are restricted for our children’s safety. That is paramount.”

Ineke Schuurman, the Township’s Traffic Safety Coordinator, said people get lost in the hustle and bustle of their busy days and do things that are quick and convenient, but also unsafe.

“Parents need to remember that it’s not just their child who is important,” she said. “What about the child behind you, and the four behind him? It’s not just about you and your family: it’s about other children as well.”

Jottey, who has seen motorists double park and block off other vehicles while the driver “ran inside the school for just for a minute,” said common sense needs to prevail and drivers should treat others how they want to be treated.

Those caught violating traffic laws in and around schools will be ticketed.