Class is in session! It is back to school season and that means more traffic, busses, and children on the roads, especially during rush-hour commutes. As students return to the classroom, the Alberta RCMP reminds motorists of the importance of sharing our roadways responsibly.
Want an A+ in traffic safety this September? Remember the following tips:
- Give yourself more time to get where you are going. This prevents speeding and ensures you are focused on road safety.
- When entering a school or playground zone, slow down. Pedestrian collisions at lower speeds have a higher survivability rate and reduce serious trauma.
- When a school bus is flashing its alternating red lights, stop and do not pass. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to $567 and six demerits. It is not necessary to stop if the bus is on the other side of a divided highway.
- When pedestrians are crossing the street, come to a complete stop and do not block the crosswalk with your vehicle. Make eye contact with the pedestrian and ensure they have cleared the road before proceeding.
- Always follow the direction of crossing guards. Crossing guards are there to keep children safe.
- Keep an eye out for children, especially during school operating hours. Kids can easily become distracted and do not always understand the rules of the road.
- Unload child passengers away from traffic and congestion or in a designated drop-off area.
Last year, Alberta RCMP ticketed a total of 160 motorists for speeding in a school or playground zone. Forty-seven of these offences occurred in Sept. 2020 alone. According to Alberta Health Services, incidents involving child pedestrians occur most frequently in Sept. and Oct.
“With the start of the school year, motorists can expect an increase of children on our streets and sidewalks. It is therefore critical that we all share the road responsibly,” says Supt. Gary Graham, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services. “Remember, when entering a school or playground zone, always drive with caution. Slow down and stay alert.”