Back to School – Rules of the Road

Back to School – Rules of the Road

Beginning September 6, 2016 the children of Kamloops will be heading back to school, meaning more traffic for all of us as parents drive their children to school, school buses travel the roads and teachers head back to work.

It is important to keep an extra eye out while travelling near school zones, being alert for children, car doors opening, vehicles pulling onto and off of the road at varying intervals and our speed! 

Section 147 of the Motor Vehicle Act allows for expanded school speed zone times, so the usual 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on a regular school day does not always apply. Pay attention to the signs near all school, playground and recreational facilities as the times and days in effect vary by location and hours of use.

Expanded times for reduced speed means safer access for children and pedestrians on roadways while travelling to school facilities. This recognizes the increased use of facilities located within school zones, whether for regular classes, extracurricular activities, or for activities offered by community centres located in or near schools.

Also, many playgrounds or other recreational facilities are used by students during weekends and summer daylight hours and the “dawn to dusk” reduced speed zone is in effect 365 days a year in those zones.

Fines for exceeding the speed limit in posted school zones range from $196 to $483 and a charge of traveling even 1 km over the speed limit comes with 3 driver penalty points. As of May, 2016 the fine doubled for passing a school bus with its red lights flashing. It is now $368 and 3 driver penalty points. A second offence will also lead to a “Driver Risk Insurance Premium” of $300. After a third offence, the increase to insurance premiums amounts to $640, plus the fine.

Some points to remember for back to school safety:
  • Watch for school safety patrollers and stop as directed.
  • Watch for children between parked vehicles and on the sidewalk.
  • Use caution when approaching intersections or mid-block crosswalks. Parked or stopped vehicles may hide a pedestrian crossing the road.
  • Do not park within 5 meters of a crosswalk, whether marked or unmarked.
Driving tips around school buses:
  • Alternating flashing yellow or amber lights mean a bus is slowing down to stop. Do the same.
  • When approaching a school bus with red lights flashing—you must stop!
  • Always watch for children crossing roads. Prepare to slow down and stop.

A lawyer can help you to understand the wide range of issues that arise with your insurance and the law. If you would like advice or for more information regarding such matters please contact Chahal Priddle LLP at 250-372-3233 to set up an appointment today.