Police around the region are reminding drivers that the school year starts today — and school speed zones will be back in effect.
Drivers are required to keep their speed at 30 km/h around schools from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on school days.
Victoria police pointed to ICBC statistics showing that on average on Vancouver Island, 52 school-aged children are injured and two are killed while walking or cycling to school each year.
Driver distraction is the leading factor in collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists, said Victoria police Const. Terri Healy.
She urged everyone to slow down and increase their “situational awareness” by putting away electronic devices like cellphones, headphones and earbuds when driving, walking and cycling.
Both VicPD Speed Watch volunteers and traffic officers will be out in school zones starting this morning.
The fine for speeding in a school zone begins at $196 for driving 31 to 50 km/h and goes up as speed increases.
Saanich police will be patrolling at schools across the municipality all week after students return to classes, said Const. Markus Anastasiades.
Police will be there saying hello to students and making sure drivers remember that school is in session, he said.
Victoria police offered the following tips:
• Use caution in areas where students, families and staff are travelling to and from school.
• When dropping children off at school, get them to exit the car on the side closest to the sidewalk.
• Teach children safety basics and tell them to make eye contact with drivers before beginning to cross the road.
In 2020, one driver was caught going 90 km/h while another was nabbed going 83 km/h in the Quadra Street school zone by George Jay Elementary.
Both ended up with $368 tickets and $461 high-risk driver premiums from ICBC, making the total payout $829 each.
Drivers are also required to stop for a school bus when its red lights are flashing. Failure to do so can net a $368 fine.
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