Local police are reminding the public about the return of school zone speed limits with the start of the new school year on Sept. 6.
Cpl. Andres Sanchez of Sidney/North Saanich RCMP said police will step up their presence around schools during the first week of school.
“We are going to be doing traffic calming,” he said. “We have a newly appointed youth and community policing officer here at the detachment. So he is going to be doing some more check-ins and education at schools.”
School zones are subject to a speed limit of 30 km/h every school day effective from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. unless posted otherwise. Playground zones are subject to a 30 km/h speed limit every day from dawn to dusk.
The penalty for speeding in a school zone is three points with a fine ranging between $196 and $253.
Police last year handed out 6,500 tickets to drivers for speeding in school and playground zones around the province, according to ICBC. Crashes kill five children and injured 370 more while walking or cycling last year. In school and playground zones specifically, crashes injure 66 children every year. On Vancouver Island, crashes kill two children while walking or cycling while injuring 52 every year. In school and playground zones, crashes injure nine children every year.
ICBC identified distracted drivers as the leading factor in crashes with pedestrians and cyclists, and urged drivers to avoid their phones and to look out for children with the return of the school year.
ICBC is also urging drivers to follow several specific school-related tips. They include watching for school buses and when their lights are flashing, vehicles approaching from both directions must stop. ICBC also urged drivers to walk around their vehicle to ensure no small children are hidden from view. Drivers should also always look for pedestrians when backing up and ensure that their headlights, brake and signal lights are clear, visible and in good working condition at all times to remain as visible as possible, especially toward the end of the year as daylight hours decline.
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