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Police keeping an eye on school zones

Police keeping an eye on school zones
Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

A recent survey conducted by CAA shows parents are growing more concerned about unsafe driving practices in school zones.

Results from the survey indicate the top two driving behaviours parents spotted in school zones are speeding and distracted driving.

The news comes as students from across Saskatchewan head back to school today.

The Prince Albert Police Service also put out a news release in the days leading up to back to school, reminding motorists to slow down in school zones.

The traffic division will be out in force this week, heavily enforcing school zone safety and issuing tickets. School zones require drivers to slow to 30 km/h from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. September 1 to June 30.

Last year, over 80 speeding tickets were issued during the first week back to school. Overall, 378 school zone tickets were issued during the 2016-2017 school year.

Both CAA and the Prince Albert Police Service provided tips for parents and motorists to ensure school zones are safe.

“Smooth drop-offs start with stress-free mornings,” CAA wrote.

They advised to plan the night before, organizing lunch, backpacks and school clothes to avoid the morning lunch. Keeping things organized and tidy, and planning your route to school means you’re prepared for anything the morning can throw your way.

CAA recommends parking a few blocks away if you’re driving your kids, and walking the rest of the way with your children. This ensures safety and provides exercise.

“Avoid texting and other activities that can distract you while you drive,” CAA wrote. “Maintain your speed according to the posted speed limits.”

CAA also implored drivers to slow down, be alert, and allow people enough time to cross the street.

“As parents and motorists, we can all do our part to help keep our school zones safe,” said Christine Niemczyk, director of communications for CAA Saskatchewan.

Prince Albert police provide similar tips:

-Be alert. Put down any distractions such as cell phones, make-up, food and be aware of your surroundings. Be able to anticipate that a child could at any moment come across the road.

  • -Talk to your children about pedestrian safety. Do a rehearsal on how to watch for vehicles and look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Make sure they know how to use crosswalks and crosswalk lights. During the summer months it can be easy to forget safety rules and a refresher in traffic safety is good practice before school starts.
  • us safety: Make sure your child knows the rules to always cross in front of a bus instead of behind and to keep a safe distance from large vehicles and be aware of their surroundings.
  • Be aware of school drop-off and pick-up zones and rules related to your school on areas to park for drop-off and pick-up.
  • Plan your route ahead of time and make sure to leave plenty of time before you leave for school/work. Prepare lunches/meals the night before if possible and organize clothes/lunch kits etc. for the next day to avoid the morning rush.
  • Motorists take your time and let children and guardians completely cross the crosswalk before proceeding in your vehicle. Not only is it courteous, but there could be other children following.