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Drivers & pedestrians: Staying safe over the summer months

Pedestrian%20safety.jpgWith summer break now underway, drivers and pedestrians are reminded to keep vigilant when walking and driving, especially around school zones.

While regular classes may be out for the summer, there is still summer learning and programming taking place at many of our school sites and school zone speeds are still in effect for these locations. 

Parks and playgrounds around schools are also a popular choice for outdoor summer activities, and it’s important to be mindful of others when traveling through these areas.

Reminders for drivers

Be aware of the speed limit: School zone speeds are still in effect for school sites hosting summer learning programs. Some may be indicated with a ‘Summer School’ sign below the normal school zone sign. Please be cautious near all schools, every day.

In addition, many schools are located near park spaces and playgrounds. For all designated park zones, the speed limit is 30km/h from dawn to dusk.

Scan crosswalks and intersections before driving through: Be sure to scan from left to right as you approach any potential crossing areas, especially when near schools, parks and play areas.

Watch what other drivers are doing: If a vehicle slows down in front of you or in the next lane, they may be slowing down for an unseen pedestrian. Proceed with caution and prepare to stop.

Give yourself room to stop: When travelling around schools and park zones, be prepared to react quickly if a child or other pedestrian suddenly appears in the road.

Leave the phone and other distractions out of sight: According to ICBC, drivers are 3.6 times more likely to crash when on their phones. It is illegal to use handheld devices when driving in B.C., and drivers with their L or N are not allowed to make use of electronic devices, even with a hands-free system.

Reminders for pedestrians

Only cross at marked crosswalks: For the safety of yourself and those around you, do not cross the street unless at a marked or controlled crosswalk. Drivers are less likely to stop if you begin crossing in an unmarked section of the road.

Look both ways before crossing: Confirm that you are aware of any traffic in the area and are crossing at a safe time in a designated crossing.

Make sure any crossing lights are working: If you’re at a crossing with buttons and a light, make sure the lights are flashing and alerting drivers before crossing.

Make eye contact with any drivers approaching the crosswalk: Ensure that drivers see you and are slowing down to a complete stop before you enter the crosswalk.

Reminders for parents & guardians

Drop your child off in a safe area: When dropping off a child for a summer program or event, have them exit and enter the vehicle from the side closest to the sidewalk or roadside. Warn them not to cross the street mid-block.

Be aware of your surroundings before moving your car: Make sure you scan thoroughly to ensure there are no children or pedestrians around your vehicle before starting it and moving or backing up.

For more on driver and pedestrian safety, head over to ICBC’s page on Road Safety. You can also review the Surrey Schools safety sheet on school parking and traffic safety.

Have a safe and fun summer vacation!

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