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Slow down and keep kids safe on their way back to school: Penticton RCMP

School is back in session and so are 30 kmh school zones
Bylaw officer Chip Sfat and son Jax, who’s heading into Grade 1, want to remind everyone to slow down as students return to class. The City of Penticton has put in new crosswalks, like this one at Duncan near Columbia Elementary. (City of Penticton - Facebook)

Starting today, Sept. 5, students are heading back to school, which means its time to pay closer attention to speed zones.

The Penticton RCMP is reminding residents in School District 67 that school zone speeds of 30 kmh are back in effect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on school days. Playgrounds are reduced speed from dawn until dusk every day of the week.

“Going back to school can be an exciting time for young children but it can also be hectic and stressful for parents. With that in mind, safety must be top of mind to ensure your precious cargo arrives safely at school,” said Const. Kelly Brett of the Penticton RCMP. “Please slow down and allow yourself some extra time in the mornings to adapt to the new school year routines”.

Drivers should keep an eye out for school zone traffic changes across the city, including on Lawrence Avenue between Sunset Place and Duncan Avenue. Drivers please be aware of a new crosswalk at Pineview Road and Dartmouth Drive.

READ MORE: Penticton street hit with changes in response to concerns over speeding

A four-way stop has been installed near Columbia Elementary, where a student was hit in June while walking to school.

Motorists are required to stop in both directions when a school bus has stopped and the red lights are flashing, and even if the lights are not flashing children may still be boarding.

Children need to look both ways and make sure that any approaching vehicles are slowing down before beginning to cross the road, and they should only cross at designated crosswalks.

Other tips for families headed back to school include:

* Make sure backpacks are fitted properly and not overloaded.

* When riding a bike, dismount and walk across the intersection.

* Adults remind your children to never accept a ride with people they don’t know.

* Set up a safe word to be used when your child is being picked up by someone other than yourself.

* If a motorist stops to ask your child questions, remind your child never to go within two arm lengths of the vehicle.

* Earbuds and intersections don’t mix, remind your children to keep their head up, to look right and left and to make eye contact with drivers.

Every year dozens of children across BC are needlessly injured in school zones and playgrounds. One injured child is too many.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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