Back to school! Time to learn about waiting your turn, lining up nicely, being courteous to others and following the rules. No, I’m not talking about students, I’m talking about the adults, because many of the traffic problems found in school zones are caused by parents driving their children to school. Even the occasional teacher might bend the rules if they are late for work.
We all know that school zones are in effect on regular school days. Until recently, these days were determined at the provincial level and were uniform across B.C. Today, the school calendar is determined by each school district, so there could actually be a difference from one district to another. For safety’s sake, it’s probably best to slow to the posted 30 km/h limit throughout the school year unless it is a statutory holiday.
Let’s change the viewpoint from go to stop now. Parking around schools may create its own hazards by limiting visibility and proper movement. You probably don’t need me to remind you that children act on the spur of the moment without thinking their actions through. This makes them a significant hazard as they pop up in unexpected and inappropriate places. You increase the problem when you park or drive in places that you are not supposed to. Confusion is a bad thing in traffic.
I’ve investigated child pedestrian deaths and I can assure you that it is not something you want to be involved in, even remotely. Take a few seconds extra around school zones. It won’t cost you much more out of your day; in fact, the savings could be substantial.
Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit www.drivesmartbc.ca.