It’s time for back to school, and Ridge Meadows RCMP are reminding all drivers to slow down in school zones. (Facebook)

Driving advice for first week back to school

Slow down in school zones, and parents should leave early

School zones are back in effect this week, and the Ridge Meadows RCMP is telling motorists to slow down, and watch your speed in school zones.

BCAA says COVID-19 means a different-looking back to school this year, with new protocols, rules and schedules. Some changes like staggered bell times and new entry procedures will mean school zone traffic looks different too. BCAA reminds drivers of the importance of driving safely in school zones and cautions them to expect the unexpected this year.

“Back to school is stressful enough at the best of times and these aren’t the best of times,” said Shawn Pettipas, BCAA’s director of community engagement. He adds that while road safety may not be top of parents’ minds, he strongly encourages parents to be extra careful as they get behind the wheel and head into the school zone.

“Time and time again we see parents are stressed and rushing, and rushing leads to unsafe driving,” Pettipas says.

BCAA research over the years has shown a wide range of unsafe driving behaviours witnessed during the first few weeks back to school. Last year, 80 per cent of British Columbian parents said speeding in school zones was an issue, while 73 per cent reported drivers not stopping at crosswalks and 56 per cent saw at least one near miss involving a child almost being hit by a car.

READ ALSO: From masks to cohorting, a guide to back-to-school rules across the country

This year, while staggered bells could mean less congestion, they could also cause a longer ‘peak’ time, and Pettipas expects it won’t mean less unsafe driving. If anything, there may be more road safety issues as parents navigate all the changes and anxiety that come with returning to school in the COVID-era.

Pettipas advises parents to build in extra time to prevent rushing, don’t double park or stop on crosswalks, which can block pedestrians’ visibility, and always avoid stopping on the opposite side of the street or in moving traffic, which would require children to cross through traffic.

Consider walking or cycling with your child, or park and walk the last block or two. This may be a practical option for parents working from home.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

backtoschoolmaple ridgePitt MeadowsRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Downtown Maple Ridge BIA helping to stock the shelves for the food bank

Participating businesses will have donation boxes available for the month of October

City of Maple Ridge continues the hunt for new industrial land

Since 2014, 203 acres of industrial land has been designated for future employment needs

Fraser health sends letter warning of possible COVID exposure at Maple Ridge school

Parents of students at Yennadon Elementary were told an individual at the school has contacted virus


Catch much more BC Votes 2020 coverage from the Black Press Media in days and weeks to come

Langley man arrested in connection with $264,000 drug and cash bust in Grand Prairie

Police have warrants out for Christine Emes and Christopher Gilliat, also from Langley

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read