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ICBC asks drivers to help keep kids safe as school returns

New road safety learning resources for teachers

September 8, 2020


With many teachers and children returning to school this week, B.C. roads will be busier than usual. ICBC is asking drivers to leave extra travel time, stay focused on the road and watch for children, especially around school zones.

Every year in B.C., 380 children are injured in crashes while walking or cycling, and five are killed.*

Last year, 11,700 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 has new road safety learning resources on icbc.com to help B.C. teachers give children and youth the foundation they need to stay safe. The free, downloadable materials are customized to each grade level from preschool to grade 10, and include a teacher's manual and handout booklet for students.

ICBC's tips for drivers:

  • 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.

  • Leave your phone alone, and watch for children walking or cycling. Distraction is the leading factor for drivers in crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists.

  • If you drop off your child in a school zone, 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. 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. Slow down and watch for children as they could dash into the street at any moment.

Statistics:

  • In the Lower Mainland, 300 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year.

  • In Vancouver, 61 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year.

  • On Vancouver Island, 65 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year.

  • In Victoria, 12 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year.

  • In the Southern Interior, 49 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year.

  • In Kelowna, 17 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year.

  • In North Central B.C., 16 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year.

Editor's note: Local road safety coordinators across the province are available for interviews.

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 2014 to 2018 data reported by ICBC. Fatal averages based on 2013 to 2017 police-reported data.