Walking and biking is a fun and safe way for children to get to school, but they can be unpredictable on the roads when excited about returning to school and seeing their friends. Back to school is a great time to remind children of the rules of the road and how to see and be seen on our roads.
Here are some Top Tips for drivers, parents and students
Six tips for drivers
- Every school day, unless otherwise posted, a 30km/hr speed limit is in effect in school zones from 8 am to 5 pm. In Sooke, the “otherwise posted” rule applies on Highway 14, where the speed is 40km/hr when children are on or near the highway.
- Take your time and don’t rush – especially through intersections. Look for children especially near or around crosswalks and intersections.
- When you’re dropping off your children in school zones, allow them to exit the car on the side closest to the sidewalk. Never allow a child to cross 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 be prepared to stop.
- Watch for school buses. Vehicles approaching from both directions must stop for school buses when their lights are flashing.
- Before getting into your vehicle, walk around your vehicle to make sure no small children are behind it. Always look for pedestrians when you’re backing up.
Seven tips for parents and students
Post these safety tips in your home and review them with your children – even older children need to be reminded about road safety.
- Map it out. Plan your child’s walking route to school with them ahead of time. Review street names and landmarks to orient them.
- Set a good example. Never jaywalk or run to cross the street. Where possible, cross at intersections with a pedestrian crossing light or marked crosswalk.
- Look. Make sure all vehicles have stopped before entering the road. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing, even if the walk signal is on.
- Listen. Put away the electronic gadgets, cell phone and ear buds so you can hear approaching traffic that may be hard to see.
- Be seen. Wear bright clothes and/or reflective gear especially at night and in poor weather.
- Parked vehicles. Avoid shortcuts through parking lots or around parked cars where it’s harder for drivers to see small children.
- Sidewalk/no sidewalk. Walk on the inside edge of the sidewalk away from the road, so you’re further away from traffic. Walk facing oncoming traffic if there isn’t a sidewalk, so you can see approaching vehicles and make eye contact with drivers.
Source: Based on ICBC’s top tips for drivers, parents and students.