Back to school means back to school zones: Burnaby RCMP encouraging safe driving behaviour as students return to class
2022-09-06 06:37 PDT
As students head back to school, Burnaby RCMP is urging all drivers to slow down, follow traffic laws, and avoid dangerous driving behaviours commonly seen in school zones.
Despite areas near schools being busy with people, including young students, Burnaby RCMP officers routinely see drivers disobeying traffic rules during the school year -- especially during pickup and drop-off times, creating dangerous situations that put everyone at risk.
As the new school year begins, we are encouraging all drivers to re-evaluate their driving habits, said Staff Sgt. Thane Royce with Burnaby RCMP’s Traffic Services.
While school zones are designed to enhance safety, officers routinely see drivers and parents in a rush, completely ignoring traffic laws meant to protect road users, including students. Being late or in a hurry is not an excuse to drive dangerously.
Burnaby RCMP’s Traffic Services has compiled a list of some of the most commonly noted traffic infractions officers typically observe in school zones.
Burnaby RCMP top five list of dangerous behaviours in school zones:
- Speeding: School zones in Burnaby are in effect from 7 am to 10 pm on school days, which means a speed limit of 30 km/h. Despite clear signage, officers routinely ticket drivers for driving well-over the speed limit near schools. Drivers ticketed for speeding in a school zone can expect a $196 to $253 fine under the Motor Vehicle Act. In 2021, Burnaby RCMP officers issued 114 tickets for speeding in a school zone.
- U-Turns: While making a U-turn may be tempting for drivers in some situations, they are dangerous and illegal manoeuvres and an unexpected element in the normal flow of traffic, including in school zones. This sudden irregular movement may result in other motorists or pedestrians not having enough time to see or react to the vehicle conducting the U-turn, which can result in collisions.
- Distracted driving: According to ICBC, distracted and inattentive driving is the second leading contributor in car crash fatalities in B.C., and on average results in 76 deaths each year. In addition, distracted and inattentive driving is one of the leading causes of crashes with pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. September is also distracted driving enforcement month in B.C., which means an increase in enforcement as the new school year kicks off.
- Disobeying Stop Signs: A stop sign always means that you must come to a complete stop. Too often, officers see drivers ignoring or rolling through stop signs. This can be especially dangerous in school zones, as crosswalks and intersections can be busy with children, families, and other vehicles.
- Stopping in no stopping and no parking zones: School zones are designed with safety in mind, which means it’s important for drivers to follow signage. Stopping in no stopping and no parking zones can obstruct the flow of traffic, and block critical sight lines for other drivers and pedestrians, causing unexpected hazards.
Burnaby RCMP is teaming up with ICBC this fall for school zone enforcement, which will continue throughout the school year, targeting dangerous behaviours including those listed above.
Unfortunately school zones are an area our officers regularly see these dangerous driving behaviours, making them an area Burnaby RCMP will continue to focus on, Royce said.
In addition to driving safety for back to school, Burnaby RCMP would also like to encourage cyclists and pedestrians to be aware and remain vigilant when near roadways, which includes avoiding the use of mobile devices and headphones.
We often see people connected to their technology, such as their cellphones, even when walking near busy roads or crossing the street. This can be a major distraction which detracts from important situational awareness, creating hazards for all road users, Royce added.
We encourage pedestrians, cyclists, and those using scooters, skateboards, or other modes of non-vehicle transportation to make sure they are paying attention to what is happening around them.
Burnaby RCMP would also like to remind pedestrians to cross at marked crosswalks, not mid-block.
Other safety tips for pedestrians can be found here.
Heading back to school is an exciting time for families. Give yourself time to get where you’re going safely. Using common sense and sticking to the rules of the road can help ensure a safe school year ahead for everyone, including kids, Royce said.
Cpl. Michael KalanjMedia Relations Officer
burnaby.rcmp-grc.gc.ca (English only)
6355 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, BC, V5G 2J2
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