Back to school safety is up to everyone


By Treena Mielke

Students at Rimbey Christian School hit the books Aug. 31 while Wolf Creek Public School Division students go back to class Sept. 1.

RCMP Const. Luke Halvorson reminds motorists to be aware of increased pedestrian traffic.

There are hefty fines for not adhering to speed limits in school and playground zones and not yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks.

The speed limit in school zones from 8 to 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. is 30 kilometers per hour.

It is also 30 km/h in these zones one hour prior to sunrise and one hour after sunset.

Halvorson also reminds motorists not to pass school buses when red lights are flashing.

“We will be out in full force to be sure motorists are abiding by the rules,” he said.

The penalty for a motorist failing to stop for a school bus that has its red lights flashing is $402. If a motorist stops then drives on while the red lights are still flashing, the penalty is $345.

Safety tips for children travelling by school bus:

• Be at the school bus stop on time.

• Wait in a safe place well back from the edge of the road.

• Do not play in ditches or on snow banks.

• Enter the bus in single file holding the hand rail.

• Find a seat right away and stay seated facing forward at all times.

• Do not place things in the aisle.

• Avoid rowdy behaviour. Do not throw things or eat or drink.

• Keep your arms and head inside the bus.

• Never distract the bus driver. Always follow his or her instructions.

• When you leave the bus, move away from the side. If you can touch the bus, you are too close.

• If you drop something near the bus, never try to pick it up because it’s quite likely the bus driver can’t see you. Ask an adult or the driver to help.

When crossing the street to get on or off the bus make sure to walk at least 10 big steps in front of the bus, along the side of the road and look at the driver for a signal before crossing.