Watch for students, drivers warned
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.
• 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.
• 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.