Slow down for school zones, remind police

Slow down for school zones, remind police

Back to school brings renewed focus on safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians

The usual post-Labour Day routine sets in for police officers across the region Tuesday.

Police and Speed Watch volunteers will closely monitor drivers’ speeds in school zones across region to help children get a safe start to the school year.

“It’s just to remind people that the kids are back to school. If you have kids it’s easy to remember, but if you don’t, it’s easy to forget there all these wonderful little humans walking around,” said Const. Sandrine Perry, Oak Bay Police Department. “Everybody’s been in summer mode and now we have to switch to school mode.”

Starting Tuesday Sept. 4, school zones are 30 km/h from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on school days.

“You’ll definitely see us out there next week,” Perry said. “You always rotate and especially at the beginning of the school year we encourage the platoons to ensure the kids are safe – and the parents walking the kids are safe.”

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Tickets for speeding in a school zone start at $196 plus three points against your licence – $483 if you get into the excessive speed category. Other potential fines include $368 fine for distracted driving, plus four demerit points.

But really it comes down to responsibility as a driver, says Perry, the new school liaison officer for Oak Bay.

“Even driving around in your own neighbourhood kids are going to be leaving their own homes for school,” Perry says.

According to ICBC statistics, two children – aged five to 18 – walking or cycling, are killed and 55 are injured in crashes every year on Vancouver Island. In school and playground zones, 11 children are injured every year.

RELATED: Back to school: ICBC says nearly 400 kids injured each year

Drivers should also be aware of traffic pattern changes – such as those on Cadboro Bay Road from Foul Bay Road and beyond Oak Bay High.

“People need to be aware of that change, especially when people are used to driving down a road a certain way,” Perry said. “Once the kids come and there’s bikes on there, it’s going to get busier.”

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Slow down for school zones, remind police