Pictou-Advocate-opinion

Be cautious in school zones

Opinion

The days are getting cooler and the nights longer.

Nervous, first-time parents are telling themselves, “It’s okay, my baby will be just fine at school,” while others are revelling in the fact they are packing lunches and looking forward to some alone time again.

Children are excitedly awaiting their first bus ride and curiosity rises as to what their new teacher will be like, while others are hiding under the covers for one more day.
Summer is just about over and back to school season has arrived.

The lax summer has come to an end, especially when referring to school zones.
Now is the time to pay attention and be vigilant in watching for those new students on the sidewalks and in the parking lots, on the buses and in their parents’ vehicles.

School zone speeds drop from 50 kilometres an hour to 30 km/hr in residential areas and from 80 km/hr to 50 km/hr in rural areas and those caught not abiding by these rules of the road are in for a hefty fine. School zones are very clearly marked with signs in each direction to notify motorists as they enter a school zone, providing more than enough time to slow down.

Especially of note is that in the next couple of weeks, police cruisers will be parked in school zones explicitly looking for offenders while other officers may, in fact, be sitting on the school buses with the children watching for unruly motorists.

It is illegal to pass a bus, in either direction, when the stop sign is engaged and the red lights are flashing. The fact this is illegal has not prevented some motorists from thinking their time is more important than the safety of the children getting on or off of the school bus. This is why some of the buses are even equipped with cameras to catch the licence plates of those offenders.

So be warned: Speeding in school zones and passing school buses when it is expressly forbidden are not taken lightly.

Children’s safety is of the upmost importance, now and throughout the school year.
For those who are a little rushed in the morning, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier to accommodate for chance encounters with school buses.
This is an exciting time for children. They want to learn, like little sponges soaking up every piece of information they can.

Some students in Pictou town may be fighting for the existence of their school in the wake of a school review process. They may be preoccupied, thinking about what the lies ahead for the school year.

So don’t take that away from them by choosing not to abide by the rules of the road. It’s the law.

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