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School zone safety key as kids return to the classroom

As thousands of kids across Grande Prairie headed back to school on Tuesday, the push to keep them safe on the way to and from school was once again front and centre.

As of Tuesday morning and stretching until June, school zones, and the 30 km/h speed limit will be in effect across Grande Prairie from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

AMA School Safety Patrol Coordinator Shelley Biendarra says it does come down to more than just obeying the speed limit when it comes to a safe school zone.

“Do not park where you’re not supposed to because drivers need to see kids crossing the street. So, make sure it’s safe, and if it’s a wonderful day, park down the road and walk your kid to school.”

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Biendarra adds she understands it can be a stressful time for parents, especially at the start of a new school year, but says in the past, a lack of paying attention has been a point of concern for both students and officials.

“Usually just parents just not quite focused, but again, our patrollers are doing a great job making eye contact with the drivers, making sure the vehicles come to a complete stop before letting them cross.”

Biendarra says it has been 82 years without a serious injury or fatality in a patrolled school zone.

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