The Lacombe Police Service reminds the general public that with the start of the new school year, road safety should be a top priority for drivers, pedestrians, parents, students and cyclists.
Motorists need to pay extra attention to school buses and pedestrian traffic coming and going from buses. The most common offence motorists commit is ‘failing to stop for a school bus’ and this can result in a fine upon conviction.
The Lacombe Police Service recommends the following tips for motorists when approaching a school bus that is preparing to stop.
– when approaching the bus from the opposite direction, ensure that you stop at a safe distance away from the front of the bus.
– when approaching the bus from behind, we recommend that you stop at least 20m away from the back of the bus.
– once the lights have stopped flashing and the safety arm folds away and the bus begins to move, it is safe to continue driving.
Motorists also must remember to obey the speed limits in school zones. The speed limit in school zones is 30 km/hour.
School zone hours are as follows – 8 – 9:30 a.m.; 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 3 – 4:30 p.m.
With the increase in pedestrian traffic as a result of students coming and going from school, officials say motorists need to touch base on some pedestrian safety tips.
– pedestrians should only cross the street at corners or in crosswalks.
– if there is a pedestrian crossing signal then students should use it.
– walk when crossing the road DO NOT run.
– pay attention while crossing the street, do not use your cellphone or talk to others as this may be distracting, and as a result you may not see traffic coming towards you.
– ensure that you make ‘eye contact’ with the driver before you cross the street.
– always walk on the sidewalk.
Some students will be riding their bicycles to and from school. As a result officials recommend the following bicycle safety tips – ensure that your bicycle is in good working order, have front and rear lights on your bike if you ride at dusk; night or in low visibility conditions; keep a safe distance from the curb and parked cars, stay off the sidewalks; stop for stop signs and red lights and always yield to pedestrians; always ride with traffic, on the right side of the road and always wear a helmet. In Alberta, it is the law for anyone under the age of 18 to wear a helmet.
“Unfortunately, the majority of injury collision in our City involves pedestrians or cyclists,” said LPS Chief of Police Lorne Blumhagen. “It is our responsibility, as a community, to ensure our students are safe as they return to school so please walk, drive and cycle safely and responsibly.”