Today’s Poll

Motorists need to be on the lookout for children now that school season in upon us

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
September 5th, 2012

Tuesday the first day of the 2012-13 school term in Nelson.

Always an exciting time for children, motorists must be aware that children, young and old, will be occupying the streets and roadways for the next ten months, give or take a few days.

Which is why drivers must pay extra attention as, on average according to ICBC, 33 children (aged five to 18) are killed and 5,090 injured in 15,365 crashes every year in B.C.

These tragedies are preventable.

And here are a few ways drivers, parents and students to help them do their part to keep children safe on our roads as they head back to school:

Tips for drivers:

Now that school’s back, don’t forget that every school day, unless otherwise posted, a 30-km/h speed limit is in effect in school zones from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Vehicles approaching from both directions must stop for school buses when their lights are flashing.

Plan ahead and be alert. Driving routes will be busier, so give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Look for children near or around crosswalks and intersections.

Always yield to pedestrians – it’s the law.

If a vehicle is stopped in front of you or in the lane next to you, they may have yielded to a pedestrian, so be prepared to stop.

 Watch for pedestrians when you’re backing up. Before getting into your vehicle, make it a habit to walk around your vehicle to make sure no small children are behind it.

When dropping off children in school zones stop and allow them to exit the car on the side closest to the sidewalk. Never allow a child to cross mid-block.

Tips for parents and students:

Remove your headphones and put away your phone or other gadgets when crossing a street. Focus on the road so you can see, hear and respond safely.

As parents, we can help by reviewing the rules of the road with our children and going over their route to school. Try to make lessons fun and interactive. You could teach your child to memorize the chorus of “Walk ‘n’ Roll,” a song by children’s musician Will Stroet, which is included in ICBC’s kindergarten to grade three road safety curriculum: “Wear something bright; Look left and look right; Wait for the light; Make sure you’re in the driver’s eyesight.”

Use designated crossing points and follow pedestrian traffic signs and signals. Make eye contact with drivers, so you both know you see each other. Teach your child to cross at intersections that have a pedestrian crossing light or a marked crosswalk whenever possible. Even at a crosswalk, be aware of traffic and always make sure that vehicles are stopped before walking.

Dress to be seen. Wear bright or light coloured clothing. In dark or bad weather, wear reflective material on clothes or accessories.

Always walk on the inside edge of the sidewalk. This way, you’re further away from the traffic. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic so you can see oncoming vehicles and drivers see you.

Be aware of parked vehicles in a parking lot or on the road. A driver may not see you between parked vehicles and you may not see them moving. Before crossing or walking through a parking lot, stop and look left-right-left around the parked vehicle. Encourage children to avoid taking shortcuts through parking lots.

—with files from ICBC

Categories: Education

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