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Mounties warn drivers to slow down as school zone speeds go into effect

The Grande Prairie RCMP is reminding motorists to slow down on Tuesday, as youth across the city will be heading back to school, and school zone speed limits will be returning to 30 kilometres per hour.

Corporal Candace Hrdlicka says it’s more than just keeping your foot off the gas when driving through the school zones, as drivers must also watch for children who might be darting in between vehicles, or off of school buses.

“We’ve had a longer break than normal and we need to take that extra precaution to remind ourselves to slow down, and not just in school zones, but as kids might be catching buses and walking to school in a lot of our neighbourhoods, it’s going to be important to slow down as well.”

Hrdlicka says parents who are driving their children to school rather than having them take the bus have a great opportunity to teach their children the dos and don’ts of road safety. She adds little things like giving themselves extra time to get where they’re going can go a long way in keeping down accidents.

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“Oftentimes we are all in a rush in the morning to get to work or what have you, but parents need to slow down when driving, and dropping off kids in school zones as well. Talking to your children to make sure they know how to be safe when catching the bus, crossing the road, walking to school, it’s that responsibility as well.”

Hrdlicka says one rule of thumb for students to remember is that they should stand well away from the road and stay back until the school bus makes a full stop and doors open. She adds the suggested distance from a school bus children should cross is approximately 10 feet, so they can be seen by both directions of traffic.

School zones are in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on any school day in Grande Prairie.

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