This week many of Alberta’s students will be returning to classes across the province to start the new school year. The Morinville RCMP would like to remind students, parents and drivers of a few safety tips which will make the return to school a safe one for everyone.

DRIVERS:

· Drivers should familiarize themselves with the specific times during the school day when the school zones in their area are in effect and adhere to the posted speed limits
· Drivers should remember to slow down in school zones and be particularly alert for students during school hours, especially when dropping off and picking up children from school.
· School buses will once again be on the roads making frequent stops to pick up and drop off students. Alternating flashing amber lights indicate that a school bus is slowing down.
· When a school bus activates its alternately flashing red lights, it is signaling that it is going to stop. Drivers must stop too. It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus as long as its red lights remain activated.
· Drivers should watch for students at crosswalks and obey the signals of crossing guards and traffic control devices.
· Be aware that neighborhood streets near schools and school zones will experience an increase in both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Be careful when driving in these areas and “expect the unexpected.”
· Driver distraction accounts for 20% to 30% of all collisions. Put away electronic devices, beverages, and food while driving. Avoid distracted driving and focus on the road and traffic.
· Be on the lookout for children and students walking to school as you pull out or back out of your garage and driveway.

For children and parents:

· Follow the bus safety rules – make sure you always ride the bus safely.

· POINT, PAUSE, and PROCEED. Be alert at intersections and always look for danger when crossing the street.
· No helmet! No bike! Always wear your helmet when riding your bike.
· Always wear your safety gear when roller-blading, skateboarding or riding your scooter.

By remembering these few simple traffic safety tips, students, parents and drivers can help one another enjoy a safe school year. Each person has a part to play to ensure that all who use the roads in Alberta do so in a manner which is safe for all Albertans.

Cpl. B.D. Tarzwell
Morinville RCMP

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