A Fraser-Cascade School District bus heads down Chaplin Road in Agassiz. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

A Fraser-Cascade School District bus heads down Chaplin Road in Agassiz. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

RCMP urge caution for back to school drivers

Police are asking drivers to slow down and watch for pedestrians

RCMP are reminding drivers to slow down as families are gearing up to go back to school.

School begins on Sept. 3 this year for most schools in the Fraser Valley, marking the return of school buses and school zone speed limits.

School zone speed limits are 30 km/h from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on school days across the Upper Fraser Valley; in the City of Chilliwack, these speed limits are in place 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on school days.

Police will on the roads enforcing these limits across the Fraser Valley

“Be watchful for children on the roads. Speeding through school zones and failing to stop for school buses is reckless, placing students and other motorists in needless danger,” Cpl. Mike Rail said. “This is also a good opportunity for parents to speak to their kids about road safety.”

RELATED: Tougher penalties for distracted drivers in B.C.

Drivers are also asked to pay attention to school buses. Cars on both sides of the road must stop for buses displaying flashing lights, which means they are picking up or dropping off students on many rural routes.

Although most students will be heading back to class after the long-weekend, some begin earlier, like Sts’ailes Community School which opens Aug. 28. Drivers are advised to keep their speeds down and watch out for kids walking to school or waiting for the bus in the final days of August as well.

Other tips for drivers and pedestrians include:

  • making sure students can exit the vehicle on the side closest to the sidewalk,
  • be aware of cars stopped in your lane or the next, as they may be yielding to a pedestrian,
  • be alert when crossing the street,
  • leave phones and other gadgets in backpacks when walking or cycling, and
  • wear high-visibility clothing, especially in the rain or at night.


grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

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