Chilliwack drivers reminded to be cautious with kids back in school

New school year means increased vehicles and pedestrians on the roads

With kids back in school on Sept. 5, Mounties remind drivers to be careful and watch for children on the roads as they head back to class.

The start of the school year also means School Zone speed limits will be in effect throughout the Upper Fraser Valley with maximum speed limits of 30 kilometres per hour during scheduled school day, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of Chilliwack where school zone speed limits are in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Police will be closely monitoring drivers’ speeds in school zones across the Upper Fraser Valley.

“The new school year provides a good opportunity for parents to speak to their children about road safety,” said Cpl. Mike Rail, spokesperson for the RCMP’s Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment. “Police want to ensure everyone has a safe start to the school.”

Some safety tips from RCMP and partners at ICBC and the City of Chilliwack Safer City:

Drivers:

– When dropping off your children in school zones, allow them time to exit the vehicle on the side closest to the sidewalk. Never allow a child to cross the street mid-block.

– If a vehicle is stopped in front of you or in the lane next to you, they may be yielding to a pedestrian, so proceed with caution and be prepared to stop.

– Watch for school buses. Vehicles approaching from both directions must stop for school buses when their lights are flashing.

– Do not operate a mobile device when driving. It is illegal for drivers to hold, operate, communicate or watch the screen of a hand-held electronic communication device.

Pedestrians:

– Be aware of parked vehicles in a parking lot or on the road. A driver may not see you between parked vehicles and you may not see them moving. Before crossing or walking through a parking lot, stop and look left-right-left around parked vehicles. Children should avoid taking shortcuts through parking lots.

– Stay alert until you have safely reached the other side of the road, cars can come from all directions.

– Stay “unplugged” and leave gadgets in backpacks when walking or cycling, this will allow you to focus on the road, see, hear, and respond safely.

– Wear high visibility clothing.

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