Back to School 2020

North Vancouver

2020-09-08 12:32 PDT

School is officially back in session this week and that means increased traffic as children and parents return to school zones in full force. Even though classes will look a little different this year, North Vancouver RCMP officers will be back out as usual in full force, patrolling the school zones and crosswalks to ensure safety for all.

The RCMP is reminding drivers that 30 km/hr speed limits are in effect in school zones from 8 am to 5 pm during school days, and in playground zones from dawn to dusk every day.

We want drivers to hit a bit of a reset on their driving, said Sgt. Peter DeVries of the North Vancouver RCMP. Back to school routines means more of the community’s young students are on sidewalks, side streets and in crosswalks, and that means we all need to refocus on driving safely, paying attention, and removing distractions.

According to ICBC, distracted driving is a leading cause of injury and death, said DeVries. North Vancouver officers will be watching for speeders, distracted drivers, and those who violate crosswalk rules. Common back-to-school related offences under the BC Motor Vehicle Act include:

Here are some safety tips to help make our school zones safe for everyone:

Getting to and from school:

Driving your child to school:

1. Don’t rush – build in buffer time: We know that families and guardians can feel pressure when it comes to dropping off and picking up their children. Anticipate that school zones will be busy and give yourself plenty of time to arrive and depart safely.
2. Expect the unexpected: Look out for kids darting out from cars, cyclists, and other pedestrians.
3. Reduce congestion: Consider walking, cycling to school, or parking a few blocks away and walking your child the rest of the way to school.
4. Obey all signage: Pay attention to all posted signage including speed and parking indicators. Some schools will have crossing guards on duty. If you come to a set of lights and they turn green, but the crossing guard tells you to stop, follow their directions – they might see hazards that you cannot see!

Walking/biking to school:

1. See and be seen: Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the road. As the days get shorter and daylight becomes scarcer, be sure to wear reflective patches on your clothing and put lights on your bags, or bikes to ensure that you are visible at all times.
2. Stay alert: Avoid distracted walking. Keep your phones in your pocket and eyes on the road.
3. Wear your protective gear: Ensure that you AND your child wear a properly fitted helmet and any other necessary protective gear, such as knee and elbow pads.

For more information, please visit the BC RCMP Back to School page.

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