RCMP Alberta - As the upcoming school year is about to begin the RCMP are reminding motorists to be mindful of school zones and school bus safety. After a summer of driving without school bus drop-offs/pick-ups or lots of kids walking to and from school, drivers can often forget the challenges of driving in school zones. Now is the time to adjust your driving habits to ensure you are not involved in a collision or receiving a costly ticket.
Tips for Parents
- Allow more time. As a new school year begins allow yourself more time to get where you are going until you can figure out the effects of increased traffic.
- Stay alert. Make a mental note of any new/existing bus stops or students walking to and from school. This way you won’t be surprised and will be prepared if you need to stop.
- Learn the rules. Schools usually have places for parents to drop off and pick up children. If you are driving your child to school, learn where these areas are and follow the procedures.
- Yield to pedestrians. Remember to yield to children/parents in crosswalks. When a pedestrian is in a crosswalk they have the right-of-way.
- Do not drive while distracted. Always be alert of your surroundings.
Tips for Students
- Always buckle up when you’re riding in a car.
- Always wear a helmet and follow traffic safety rules when riding your bike.
- If you ride a school bus, learn and practice the safety rules for waiting at the bus stop, getting on and off the bus, and riding the bus.
- If you walk to school, learn and practice the safety rules for pedestrians. Always cross at cross walks, obey all traffic signs, traffic lights and safety patrol instructions.
Speed limits in school zones and playground zones:
School Zones: The speed limit in a school zone is 30 kilometres per hour unless otherwise posted. A school zone is in effect on school days from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 am, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, and 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm unless other times are posted. A municipality may make changes to these times set out by the Province but if that's the case, they should be posted beneath the School Zone sign. The prescribed speed limit in School Zones is 30 km/hr. The School Zone ends when either a higher 'maximum' speed sign or 'end of school zone' sign is present.
Playground Zones: The speed limit in a playground zone is 30 kilometres per hour unless otherwise posted. A vehicle is not permitted to pass or attempt to pass another vehicle travelling in the same direction from 8:30 am to one hour after sunset in a playground zone. A municipality may vary these hours, but if the hours are changed, they will be posted beneath the Playground Zone sign.
Playground Areas: Playground areas are identified by a Playground sign without a speed limit attached to it. These signs indicate to drivers there may be children playing nearby and to use caution when driving through the area. The speed limit in these areas does not change.
The RCMP are looking forward to another great school year, and that starts with motorists being mindful of school zones and school buses carrying our children. Officers will be paying close attention to school zones and the safe operation of vehicles throughout the school year.
For more information on traffic control regulations, visit www.transportation.alberta.ca/1850