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School zones in effect

As summer continues for some students, there are many others who are returning to their private schools and RCMP remind drivers that some school zone speed limits apply.

"Remembering what school zones are being enforced can be tricky," said Cst Kelly Brett in a release. "Kelowna RCMP recommends that motorists research local schools that may be in session. If a private school or independent schooling institution is in session, then school zone speed limits do apply." 

As a motorist, slow down and watch for children. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re in a school zone, as kids have to walk from their neighbourhood to get to school so there are going to be children out even if a school isn’t nearby, she said.

Many students who are not attending school are still out playing near playgrounds. 

"It’s crucial that drivers slow down in school zones, watch for crosswalks, and be mindful of school traffic safety patrollers," said regional traffic safety officer Dave Gibson. "Be alert and watch for kids riding to school on their bikes. We all want our children to arrive at school and home safely."

Tips for drivers:
Where school is in session, a 30-km/h school zone speed limit is in effect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every school day, unless otherwise posted.

Plan ahead and be alert. Driving routes with less traffic in the summer may now face congestion, so give yourself extra time to get to your destination.

Take your time and don't rush - especially through intersections. Look for children especially near or around crosswalks and intersections close to schools.

When dropping off children in a school zone stop and allow them to exit onto the sidewalk side of the car. 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 for a pedestrian, so be prepared to stop.

Always watch for pedestrians when you’re backing up. Before you get into your vehicle, make it a habit to walk around your vehicle to ensure no small kids are behind it. And remember, children will notice your driving behaviour as well as your pedestrian behaviour, so please set a good example for them.

Tickets and fines under the BC Motor Vehicle Act:

Speed in school / playground zone - $196 to $253

Fail to stop for school bus - $167

Fail to yield to pedestrian - $167

Pass vehicle yielding to pedestrian - $167

Disobey school guard / patrol - $167

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