Now that school is back in session, ICBC is reminding drivers to slow down and be safe in school zones.
According to police reporting data, an average of 30 kids are killed in crashes each year in B.C. At the NOW, I've heard far too often from frustrated parents and crossing guards who fear for children's safety with all the traffic congestion around our secondary and elementary schools, many of whom are doing the best they can to manage the problem with resources they have.
Here are a few tips, inspired by ICBC, on driving safely in school zones:
Obey the speed limit in school zones: 30 kilometres per hour from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Leave earlier so you're not rushed. Set your alarm ahead and get out of the house sooner.
Keep an eye out for children around intersection and crosswalks.
Pedestrians always have the right of way, so make sure you yield.
If you're dropping kids off at school, let them out on the side of the vehicle that's facing the sidewalk, not the street, and don't let them cross mid-block.
Watch for vehicles in front of you or in the next lane that have stopped, which could be an indication that there are pedestrians crossing.
Always check behind you when backing up, and walk around your car when you're getting into your vehicle, so you can make sure no children are behind you.
Put your electronic devices away. If you need more convincing, I recommend Werner Herzog's short documentary From One Second to the Next, available on YouTube, but I'm warning you; it's intense.
Westridge Elementary is kicking off the new school year by unveiling a cedar wall carving near the front entrance of the school.
The eight-foot by eightfoot piece was created by Simon Daniel James, a First Nations artist living on Bowen Island.
"Every child from kindergarten from Grade 7 and teachers, plus some parents, worked with me on this project," James said. "The design is the representation of the sun, which for me has always been the representation of education, it's actually a rising sun."
The school gave James words to work with that reflect values that Westridge upholds, like friendship, mastery and respect.
Each value was represented by an animal - wolf, killer whale or otter, for instance.
The school is unveiling the art this Friday.
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