As students return to school, the New Brunswick RCMP is reminding motorists to be extra vigilant when driving through school zones and when approaching a school bus to ensure the safety of all.
"Communities throughout the province will experience an increase in vehicle and pedestrian traffic as children return to school," says Cst. Jullie Rogers-Marsh, of the New Brunswick RCMP. "Keeping our young people safe is everyone's responsibility, from parents to motorists, to the students themselves."
Here are a few safety tips for all motorists:
– Slow down when entering a school zone, and obey posted school zone speed limits;
– Be ready to stop at all times - children do not always notice oncoming traffic;
– Pay attention to crosswalks, crossing guards and school buses;
– When you see a school bus with red flashing lights, traffic in both directions must come to a complete stop to ensure the safety of children going on and coming off the bus;
– Drivers may only proceed once the bus driver has turned off the red lights.
Parents and children are also reminded of the following safety tips:
– Always walk on sidewalks and cross at intersections where they are available;
– Stop, look in all directions and listen carefully for traffic before crossing;
– Make sure you are visible to the drivers and make eye contact with the drivers before crossing;
– Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, and always walk your bicycle across a roadway;
– Young people should never accept a ride or get into a vehicle with a stranger;
– When waiting for the school bus, stand back from the roadway until the bus has come to a complete stop, with its flashing red lights activated.
The RCMP reminds motorists that fines are doubled in school zones. The fines for speeding in a school zone or failing to stop for a school bus range from $345 to more than $1,200.