Watch for stu­dents, driv­ers warned

The Prince George Citizen - - News - Cit­i­zen staff

Prince Ge­orge RCMP are re­mind­ing driv­ers to slow down now that schools are back in ses­sion.

It means the 30 km/h speed limit for school zones is back in force from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon­day to Fri­day.

Fines for vi­o­lat­ing the limit start at $196 and rise significan­tly with the driver’s speed.

Of­fi­cers will be con­duct­ing pa­trols and tar­geted en­force­ment around schools to help en­sure the safety of stu­dents as they go to and from school.

“It only takes a sec­ond to im­pact a child and their fam­ily for a lifetime” said Cpl. Craig Dou­glass. “Don’t let speed and dis­tracted driv­ing cause a tragedy in our com­mu­nity.”

Driv­ers are also re­minded that they are pro­hib­ited from pass­ing a school bus with flash­ing red alternatin­g lights.

Driv­ers in both di­rec­tions must stop and wait for the bus driver to load or off­load chil­dren and dis­en­gage the sig­nal lights be­fore pro­ceed­ing.

The fine for fail­ing to stop for a school bus is $167.

Like­wise, the fine for fail­ing to obey a school guard or school pa­trol is also $167 and there are a num­ber of schools in the Prince Ge­orge area that em­ploy school cross­ing guards.

Here are some fur­ther tips for avoid­ing trou­ble.

Stu­dents

• Use des­ig­nated cross­ing points and fol­low cross­ing sig­nals where avail­able;

• Re­move headphones from mu­sic play­ers and put down the cell phone when cross­ing the road;

• When cross­ing ma­jor roads, make sure that all lanes of traf­fic have stopped be­fore walk­ing across. Of­ten driv­ers in the mid­dle lanes don’t see pedes­tri­ans;

• Make eye con­tact with the driv­ers be­fore step­ping out onto cross­walks;

• Dress to be seen – day­light hours are de­creas­ing, so wear brighter colours or re­flec­tive ma­te­rial when­ever pos­si­ble;

• Walk on the side­walk, or if un­avail­able, walk on the side of the road fac­ing the traf­fic;

• Walk on well-lit routes with less traf­fic;

• Al­ways be aware of your sur­round­ings.

Driv­ers

• Plan ahead, leave ear­lier to al­low your­self ex­tra time through school zones;

• Be alert to chil­dren near or around cross­walks and in­ter sec­tions;

• If a ve­hi­cle in a dif­fer­ent lane slows or stops in front of you, slow down or stop and en­sure that no one is on the cross­walk be­fore pro­ceed­ing;

• Al­ways yield to pedes­tri­ans at in­ter­sec­tions or des­ig­nated cross­walks;

• When drop­ping off chil­dren in a school zone, en­sure you do so in a safe place where the chil­dren can exit onto a side­walk and not into traf­fic. Don’t stop in the travel por­tion of the road­way and hurry your chil­dren out of the ve­hi­cle.

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