The big yellow buses are back on the roads. Its fall already and children are heading to the schools and playgrounds again. The Regina Police Service is reminding motorists to be mindful of school zones and the 40 km/h speed limit in schools and playground areas.
School and playground speed limits of 40 km/h, are in effect from 8:00 a.m. till 10:00 p.m., seven days a week, 365 days of the year. Studies show that at 40 km/h, 85% of pedestrians struck by a vehicle survive. At 60 km/hr a vehicle needs an extra 65 feet to come to a complete stop, and only 15% of pedestrians struck by vehicles survive. Considering school zones are full of young children who are likely distracted by all of the excitement of getting back to school, it is imperative that all motorists respect school zone laws. Even a 10 km/hr difference will save a life.
If you are dropping children off at school, you are asked to comply with the “no parking” and “no stopping” zones in front of schools. Parking in these zones often restricts the visibility of the curb where children cross, which would otherwise cue motorists visably to stop, putting children at greater risk.
Parents and other motorists are often distracted watching their own children head into the school, so please pay extra attention while driving in a school zone. Stopping (in the allowed parking zones) to watch your child safely cross the street is much safer than slowly driving past and watching them. Avoid having your children cross the busy street by dropping them off on the same side of the street as the school. If you can’t avoid having your children cross the street when picking them up or dropping them off, get out of the vehicle and accompany them across the street safely.
Parents are also reminded to talk with their children about issues like crossing the street safely, not using an electronic device while walking or crossing the street, and looking both ways to be sure traffic has stopped. Children benefit from this discussion, especially if they engage in planning good safety practices.
The Regina Police Service commends those motorists who practice safe driving habits and encourages all drivers to respect the rules of the road. As a growing city with increasing traffic on our roadways, these good habits become even more important. Remember, obeying all traffic laws and being a safe, courteous driver helps protect our children and makes Regina a safer community for all.