School is back in session, and that means speed limits in school zones are back in effect.
Officers at the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment are encouraging drivers to remember that with more than 7,800 students in the Cowichan Valley school district, there will undoubtedly be an increase in tiny little feet running around the Valley with the excitement of a brand new school year ahead.
Drivers are being reminded to share the road safely with other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.
Police are reminding drivers to adjust their driving behaviours and expectations in order to factor in the increase in foot traffic, bicycle traffic, and the increased presence of school buses on the road.
“Remembering that school zones are in session can be an adjustment for everyone,” said RCMP Const. Bryce Wilkinson.
“Everyone plays a role in keeping our roads safe, whether it’s drivers being more attentive and slowing down, parents having safety talks with their children, or kids slowing down and remembering how to be seen and be safe.”
According to ICBC, 33 children are injured in pedestrian motor vehicle collisions and 22 children are injured in cyclist motor vehicle collisions on Vancouver Island every year.
ICBC has tips on how to help keep children safe if they are walking or biking as part of their daily routine.
With schools in session, parents are encouraged to go over some of these tips with their kids to help prepare them for the safest possible school year.
Some of these tips include reviewing safety rules with your children and practicing how to use crosswalks safely, demonstrating good walking habits, and teaching cycling safety to your kids including cycling in a straight line, using hand signals, and shoulder checking.
Wilkinson said you can also talk to your children about safe walking routes, and provide them with safety planning and tips in case of an emergency.
“Police will be out doing increased patrols, looking for offenders, and reminding drivers to slow down and stay alert,” he said.