Slow Down, School Zone!

School Zone Sign

Is it really necessary to remind everyone that school starts again next week? Well, if you were one of the 2,300 pedestrians killed or injured in B.C. last year you might agree that this is a good idea. Walk safe, be safe, be seen is this year's message.

Did you know that children's peripheral vision is not as well developed as an adult's? A small child may not see a vehicle approaching unless they are actually looking nearly directly at it. You as the driver may have to do the watching for them. Be prepared around school and playground zones!

Parents, please take the time to teach your children about a safe route to school, how to use a crosswalk and how to dress for success. Light coloured clothing with reflective striping is the answer to making a pedestrian visible to drivers in the low light and bad weather encountered during the winter months.

This is the third school year since the amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act that allowed school zones to be in effect for a period longer than the usual 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Drivers have to read the signs below the pentagon carefully to know if the hours have been extended, and it can be different from zone to zone in the same school district.

Oddly enough, some of the biggest violators of school zones are the parents bringing their children to school. In the crush to find a parking space to drop everyone off speed, parking and stopping rules are often ignored for the sake of expediency. I have a friend who lost a child, hit by a vehicle while crossing the street. She would tell you that saving a few moments by doing what is easy rather than what is correct will never be her focus again. Being a few minutes late for work or an appointment is a small price to pay by comparison.

Watch for the yellow lawn signs at your school and follow the message: "Slow Down - School Zone."

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