Sergeant Jason Keays

Sergeant Jason Keays

Back to school

Classes are back in session as of September 4 and the Vanderhoof RCMP is reminding motorists and pedestrians to be careful and cautious.

School staff are busy getting ready for the return of students and are looking forward to welcoming them on Wednesday, September 4. This first day will run for only half a day, students will be dismissed three hours earlier than normal for their school.

As summer vacations wrap up and children return to school Vanderhoof RCMP are reminding parents, students and drivers to be vigilant around school zones so everyone remains safe.  The speed limit around most schools is 30 kilometers per hour, and the RCMP will be out ensuring that motorists respect the posted speed limits.

“Every year in B.C., an average of 16,045 children aged five to 18 are involved in crashes, resulting in 5,215 injuries and 34 deaths,” said Sergeant Jason Keays, Detachment Commander of Vanderhoof RCMP in an email.

Classes back on means that children will be flooding the streets and, especially in a small town, they may not look twice when crossing the road.

Drivers are advised to drive slow in areas where children are walking, everyone is excited with school back on so the RCMP would like motorists to remember to stay calm and cautious on the roads.

Students who walk to school are advised to use sidewalks when possible and to cross where there are crossing guards available.  For those children who ride a bike to and from school, RCMP are reminding students to respect traffic lights and to make sure the bicycle is equipped with reflectors.  Wearing headphones or earbuds to listen to music is dangerous when riding a bike on road ways.

Sgt. Keays wants everyone to take responsibility for their own actions ensuring all are safe during the back to school season – “We will be reminding drivers that it’s their responsibility to be alert, slow down and watch for children, especially near schools and playgrounds, we can all play an active role by making smart decisions”.

For children who ride a school bus, the RCMP want to remind the children to wait until the bus stops to approach the front door, to make sure the driver sees them before crossing in front of the bus and to never cross behind a school bus.

Motorists are reminded that when a school bus is stopped, they too must stop and it’s best to stay five meters behind the bus.  Passing a bus with the flashing lights is a major offence and will cost drivers a hefty fine and several demerit points off a driver’s license.