Langley’s roads will be much busier next week, as classes resume. Motorists are reminded to slow down and keep an eye out for students crossing streets on their way to and from school. Students are being urged to take extra care when crossing the road.

Back-to-school safety should be top of mind

ICBC urges drivers and students to exercise caution as a new school year begins

September is just days away, and ICBC is asking parents to prepare their children for getting to and from school safely as routines change for the start of school and traffic levels increase.

Every year in Langley an average of two children aged five to 18 are killed and 220 are injured in 670 car crashes, including pedestrian accidents, according to ICBC statistics.

Province-wide, the number jumps to 18 children killed and 5,100 injured in 14,700 crashes.

“It’s the ideal time for parents to review the rules of the road with their children and take the time to go over their daily route with them,” said Todd Stone, minister of transportation and infrastructure.

Taking out headphones while crossing the street, putting away electronic devices and focusing on the road are some tips that older children might need to be reminded of, according to ICBC.

Younger children should be taught to cross at intersections, to walk on the inside edge of the sidewalk and to be aware of parked vehicles that may pull out into traffic.

Drivers should also plan ahead for the traffic increases, said Stone.

“Remember to leave earlier to avoid rushing, stay focused on the road and use extra caution, especially around school zones.”

Police will be closely monitoring for speeding in school zones during the transition. Unless otherwise posted, a 30 km/hr speed limit is in effect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on school days.

Although there is no spike in incidents during September’s busy back-to-school period, as daylight hours get shorter in November, December and January, there is an increased number of traffic accidents, according to Lindsay Olsen, ICBC communications co-ordinator.

More safety tips are available at icbc.com.

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