School zones back in effect starting Tuesday

School zones back in effect starting Tuesday
Greater Victoria School District/Twitter

Schools will be back in session on Tuesday, which means the 30 km/h speed limit in school zones will be in effect.

School zones have a 30 km/h speed limit between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on school days, and are different from park zones that many schools in the region have switched to. Park zones have the same speed limit, and are in operation from dawn to dusk every day – not limited to school days.

Shawn Pettipas, director of community engagement with BCAA, says it is important for drivers to follow the posted speed limit.

“If people can just focus and pay attention when they’re in those school zones and follow the speed limit,” Pettipas said. “And you have to watch out for things too, just because you’re going 30 kilometers an hour in the school zone doesn’t doesn’t mean that a child wouldn’t dart out in front of you. So it’s really about having the the patience and paying attention to what you’re doing.”

He says when driving it’s important to be calm and focused on the road ahead of you.

“People are rushing and when you’re rushing, that usually means you’re distracted, and when you’re distracted, it means you’re not being on your best behaviour,” Pettipas said. “So it’s just so important to sit back and take a breath and just know that even if it takes a little bit longer that you kept kids safe.”

According to ICBC, an average of 31 children between the ages of five to 18 who are walking or biking are hit by vehicles every month, and an average of 370 per year.

On Vancouver Island, two children walking or cycling are killed and 52 are injured in crashes every year. In school and playground zones, nine children are injured in crashes every year. In Victoria, eight children are injured in crashes while walking or cycling every year.

Last year, 6,500 tickets were handed out for speeding in a school or playground zone, according to ICBC.

READ MORE: Return to school prompts ICBC reminder for drivers to watch for children walking or cycling

With files from CHEK’s Mackenzie Read

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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