Use extra caution as children head back to school

Monday, September 2nd, 2019 8:20pm



The fines are hefty for passing a stopped school bus when the red lights are flashing.

Across the country, children will be going back to school tomorrow and there will be more traffic on the roads and excited students either waiting for school buses or walking to school.

“It’s important for drivers and pedestrians to be extra cautious and to respect the rules of the road,” said Supt. Rick Gardner, Alberta Traffic Sheriffs. “Everyone must be mindful of bus and crosswalk safety and understand the expectations within school zones.”

Alberta RCMP urges drivers to practice the following back-to-school tips.

All road users: It is imperative that you are aware of your surroundings at all times to focus on the road and take appropriate actions to avoid a potential collision.

Students: Only cross at designated crosswalks and controlled intersections; make eye contact with drivers and ensure vehicles have come to a complete stop before crossing; stay on the sidewalk when walking to and from school; and stay at a safe distance from the street when waiting for transit.

Parents: Ensure that your children know the safest route to and from school; if you’re picking them up, park where it’s safe to do so.

Drivers: Pay attention to road signage, know the speed limit and whether you’re entering a school or playground zone; keep an eye out for children, especially during school operating hours; and stop when a school bus is flashing its alternating red lights.

RCMP in Manitoba remind drivers that school zone speed limits around the province are back in effect. Slow down and pay extra attention in these areas.

RCMP Saskatchewan tell drivers to put their phones down. They even tweeted out a back to school poem."School zone safety tips. Slow down and obey all signs. Drive safe or get fined."

In Ontario, first offence fines for passing a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing is $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points.

In P.E.I., failing to stop for a school bus when the red lights are flashing will lead to a loss of 12 demerit points, a licence suspension for three months, in addition to a fine of up to $5,000.