Days are growing shorter, the air is getting cooler, and summer is coming to an end.
It is back to school time and as children return to class, drivers and pedestrians need to be alert for everyone’s safety.
“Drivers throughout the community need to slow down and use their road sense,” said the Township’s transportation engineer Richard Welfing.
“Children are excited and may not think to put safety first, so it is important that drivers are cautious and obey traffic rules around schools.”
Residents in the Yorkson area of Willoughby will have to get used to a new school – and school zone – in their neighbourhood. Lynn Fripps Elementary is opening at 21020 – 83 Ave., and starting on Sept. 4, motorists must look out for youngsters in the area and obey to the new 30 km/h speed limit.
Parents dropping off and picking up their children also need to be attentive. “Back to school is a hectic time and parents are often in a rush,” said Welfing, “but you need to focus not just on your child but on all the children and other drivers around you.”
Throughout September, Township bylaw enforcement officers and the Langley RCMP will ensure traffic rules are followed in school zones.
“We will conduct enforcement operations to target and educate the public and students about the risk of speeding,” said Staff Sgt. Alex Bodden of the Langley RCMP’s community policing division.
He said that police have had problems with pedestrian safety in some areas and will be taking action against those who jaywalk or violate crosswalk signs.
“We have been fortunate over the last few years that there have been no significant injuries in school zones — and our goal is to keep it that way,” he said. “A lot of harm can be prevented by simply slowing down and paying attention.”
“We encourage parents to remind their children about the rules of the road and go over their route to school with them,” added local ICBC road safety coordinator Leanne Cassap.
Older children need to be reminded about road safety, too, and drivers should expect busier roads at this time of year and therefore allow extra time, she added.
ICBC provides free material to schools to help students learn about road safety through fun, interactive activities. The material is unique to each grade level, from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
For safety tips or to order school material, go to icbc.com/road-safety.