With students returning to school on Sept. 10 next week, the Langley RCMP has issued a reminder about safety for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
Parents dropping off their children should avoid parking on the opposite side of the street from the school, said Cpl. Holly Largy, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.
If it’s impossible not to park across the street, parents are asked to ensure the children know how to safely navigate across the road using a designated crosswalk.
Parents should also avoid double-parking or stopping to unload children in non-designated parking/drop off zones.
“Do not block buses or use designated bus only areas for dropping off or picking up your children,” Largy said.
She reminded parents to not park on a crosswalk, or to pass a stopped vehicle that is allowing pedestrians to cross the street.
“Learn the traffic patterns at the school and be courteous to other drivers, obeying the directions of crossing guards,” said Largy.
Children exiting vehicles should also be careful when opening doors, and whenever possible, they should exit on the curb side of the vehicle. Always discourage children from crossing the road in the middle of the block.
Drivers should make a mental note of school zone speed limits back in effect.
When school is in session, motorists driving in school zones may go no faster than 30 km/h between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Largy also noted that the law requires drivers to stop for school buses when their red lights are flashing.
It is important to note that when a vehicle is traveling at 30 km/h, it takes 18 meters to come to a full stop, but more than double that distance – 37 meters, when the vehicle is traveling at 50 km/h.
Parents can protect their children by ensuring they are familiar with the rules of the road.
Teaching children to look both ways and make eye contact with approaching motorists helps ensure they are seen before entering a crosswalk, Largy said.
“Instruct your children not to enter a crosswalk until traffic has come to a full stop in both directions,” Largy said. “Children should respect crossing guards at school crosswalks and there should be no horseplay while crossing the street.”
Largy warned that any pedestrians should not assume that when a light turns green it is safe to cross the street. They should still look for traffic.
Cyclists should follow the flow of traffic as close to the right edge of the street as possible in single file.
“Encourage your child to ask questions about traffic and what to do if they are unsure about how to do something safely,” she said.
Langley RCMP Traffic, School Resource, and General Duty officers will patrol school areas throughout the school year and conduct enforcement to encourage compliance with the Motor Vehicle Act. These efforts will be heightened throughout September.