Safety top of mind for back to school

Safety is top of mind for the Lethbridge Police Service as students head back to school. LPS is reminding motorists to slow down in school and playground zones once again. Sgt. Danny Lomness of the Traffic Response Unit, has some tips for motorists when they are driving near zones where children are and the stiff fines that will follow if you don’t obey the traffic signs.

“It can range from $80 to $500 if you’re doing over and around 50 kilometers an hour. Or, if it’s over 50 it can be an automatic court appearance. Slow down and pay attention. Again, everybody’s got to get used to the busy flow of traffic in the area again. Don’t take your eyes off the road, because you don’t know what’s going to happen in these areas. Some kids just don’t quite understand.”

Below is a list from the Lethbridge Police Service that provides a breakdown of tips for students, cyclists and drivers for back to school safety.

For students:

  • When exiting a vehicle, ensure you watch out for vehicles that may be passing by.
  • Before entering a roadway, always do it slowly while checking for vehicles. Never run into the roadway.
  • Make eye contact with drivers of vehicles approaching intersections you intend to cross.
  • Not only pay attention to your safety, but also other children travelling to school.

For cyclists:

  • You should not be on the sidewalks unless on designated multi-use pathways.
  • Dismount your bicycle before crossing a crosswalk.
  • Be aware of other pedestrians and motorists.

For drivers:

  • Pay attention to not only what is in front of you, but also obstacles along the side of the road that may obstruct your view of a child who may suddenly appear in your traffic lane.
  • Leave sufficient space when travelling behind other vehicles to allow you time to react to traffic stopping suddenly.
  • Pay attention to the roadway and do not manipulate or look at your cell phone or other electronic devices while driving.
  • Use caution when approaching intersections or mid-block crosswalks and yield to all pedestrians.
  • Be very cautious in parking lots or when backing out of a parking stall or driveway.
  • Don’t consume alcohol or drugs then drive.
  • Obey all speed limits inclusive of school and playground zones. The City of Lethbridge school zones are from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on school days. Playground zones are in effect from 8:30 a.m. to one hour after sunset, seven days a week.

The first day of class for students in Lethbridge varies by school division this year. Students start Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022 in the Holy Spirit Catholic School Division, while those attending Ecole La Verendrye return Thursday, September 1. The first day of class for students within the Lethbridge School Division is Tuesday, September 6. Traffic enforcement will begin Aug. 31, 2022 in school zones where students are attending starting that date, and expand to school zones in the other divisions as they open.

Micah Quinn

After graduating from Mount Royal University in Calgary with a Broadcasting Diploma, Micah made the trek down to Lethbridge to work for Bridge City News. He has previously worked at City TV Calgary on the Breakfast Television morning show. He looks forward to connecting with this community, and reaching a new audience. Micah has a passion for interviewing and finding out why people think the way they do. You’ll often find him pursuing local feature stories and hard news.

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