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ICBC: Drivers & parents need to help keep kids safe as school returns

August 29, 2018


Every year, 380 children are injured in crashes while walking or cycling and six are killed throughout the province.* In school and playground zones, 86 children are injured every year.**

These figures are too high – and we need drivers and parents to help reduce the risk for children so they stay safe around our roadways.

With children returning to school next week, roads will be very busy. ICBC is asking drivers to give themselves extra travel time so they aren't rushing and more likely to ­speed. Drivers should be completely focused on the road and be watching for children, especially in or around school zones.

Last year, 7,900 drivers were ticketed for speeding in school and playground zones in B.C. Police and Speed Watch volunteers will be closely monitoring drivers' speeds in school zones to help children get a safe start to the school year.

Parents are encouraged to review ICBC's tip sheet with their children and go over their daily route to and from school with them.

ICBC's Drive Smart tips for drivers:

  • When you're dropping off your children in school zones, allow them to exit the car on the side closest to the sidewalk. Never allow a child to cross mid-block.

  • If a vehicle's stopped in front of you or in the lane next to you, they may be yielding to a pedestrian, so proceed with caution and be prepared to stop.

  • Watch for school buses and when their lights are flashing, vehicles approaching from both directions must stop.

  • Before getting into your vehicle, walk around it to make sure no small children are hidden from your view. Always look for pedestrians when you're backing up.

  • In residential areas, a hockey net or ball can mean that kids are playing nearby. Watch for children as they could dash into the street at any moment.

  • Remember that every school day, unless otherwise posted, a 30 km/h speed limit is in effect in school zones from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In playground zones, a 30 km/h speed limit is in effect every day from dawn to dusk.

Regional statistics:

  • In the Lower Mainland, three children walking or cycling are killed and 260 are injured in crashes every year. In school and playground zones, 51 children are injured in crashes every year.

  • On Vancouver Island, two children walking or cycling are killed and 57 are injured in crashes every year. In school and playground zones, 14 children are injured in crashes every year.

  • In the Southern Interior, one child walking or cycling is killed and 42 children are injured in crashes every year. In school and playground zones, 13 children are injured every year.

  • In North Central B.C., 14 children walking or cycling are injured in crashes every year. In school and playground zones, eight children are injured in crashes every year.


ICBC provides free road safety educational materials to B.C. schools to help students from kindergarten to grade 10 learn about road safety topics unique to their grade level using fun and interactive activities.

Notes about the data:

Children defined as age five to 18. Pedestrian includes a person in or on a wheeled recreational device or wheeled toy. This includes rollerblades, a skateboard, scooter, unicycle or similar wheeled device.

*Crash and injury averages based on 2012 to 2017 data reported by ICBC. Fatal averages based on 2012 to 2016 police-reported data.

**School/playground zone injury averages based on police data from 2012 to 2017.

Media contact:

Lindsay Wilkins

604-982-4759