With school starting in School District 83 on Wednesday, Sept. 7, drivers are urged to be particularly vigilant in order to protect students walking, cycling or riding a school bus. (File photo)

With school starting in School District 83 on Wednesday, Sept. 7, drivers are urged to be particularly vigilant in order to protect students walking, cycling or riding a school bus. (File photo)

Drivers urged to protect young lives in Shuswap when school starts

RCMP ask drivers, parents and students to be prepared for Sept. 7 in School District 83

Now is the time for drivers to be extra vigilant.

In the week following Labour Day, children are making their way to school, some for the first time, others returning after a summer out of the classroom. The first day of school in School District 83, North Okanagan-Shuswap, is Wednesday, Sept. 7.

Police are reminding drivers to slow down, be particularly careful and protect young lives.

Sgt. Murray McNeil with Sicamous RCMP notes that, unless otherwise posted, a 30 km/h speed limit is in effect in school zones from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In playground zones, a 30 km/h speed limit is in effect every day from dawn to dusk.

“Students may forget to cross roads safely and it is important that drivers be extra attentive this time of year. Police will be on the roads watching for vehicles that fail to stop for the flashing red lights of school buses.”

Staff Sgt. Scott West with Salmon Arm RCMP urges drivers to obey the crossing guards who are on hand to keep children safe. He also has a suggestion for the parents of young students.

“It is always a great idea to go over crossing at intersections and making eye contact with drivers. Remind them only to cross if it is safe and not to run when crossing a street. Walking the route that younger students will take to get to school is always a good idea.”

West said it serves two purposes.

“You as a parent will know and approve of the walking route. You will have a chance to identify hazards for your child and talk about them.”

If students will be riding a bicycle to school, he reminds them to wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road.

West notes the fine for speeding in school zones is a minimum of $196 and up to $483 and vehicle impoundment for excessive speed. The fines for not stopping or yielding to a pedestrian and disobeying a crossing guard are $167. Failing to stop for a school bus is a $368 fine.

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For the parents of young students it is always a great idea to go over crossing at intersections and making eye contact with drivers. Remind them only to cross if it is safe and not to run when crossing a street. Walking the route that younger students will take to get to school is always a good idea. It serves two purposes:

– You as a parent will know and approve of the walking route.

– You will have a chance to identify hazards for your child and talk about them.

– If using a bicycle wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road.

Drivers remember:

The fine for speeding in those school zones is a minimum of $196 and up to $483 for excessive speed and a vehicle impoundment. The fine for not stopping yielding to a pedestrian and disobeying a crossing guard the fines are $167.

Failing to stop for a school bus is a $368 fine.

S/Sgt. Scott West, NCO i/c Salmon Arm Detachment.

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