Slow down with school back in session

You’ve heard it on the radio, your Facebook and Instagram are covered with pictures and comments and your kids have been talking about it, maybe dreading it, maybe excited, but regardless, IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL!!!

The Fort St. John RCMP would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone who drives a vehicle that this is a busy time of year. Parents are in a rush to get their kids to school on time and get themselves to work. Kids are racing to school with toast in hand so they are not late and the rural driver now has a big yellow bus on the road slowing them down on the way to work. The best way to deal with all of this is to slow down, not leave everything to the last minute and add a little more time to your schedule!

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Reviewing the penalties for speeding in school zones and passing school buses might just save you a couple of bucks and maybe even a life. How many times have we not had that close call where we think to ourselves even a split second more or less and it could have been a collision or the police might have been involved. We call that a "What was I thinking!" moment.

Did you know that:

- 6 students are killed and 380 students are injured in collisions each year in BC, while walking or cycling. (ICBC)

- The penalty for speeding in a school zone is higher than regular speeding fines. BC’s school zone speed limit is 30 km/h from 8am to 5pm. Speeding exceeded by less than 21 km/hr, starts at $196.00 and three demerit points. If someone is in a real hurry and they are traveling between 21 to 40 km/h over the limit the penalty jumps to $253.00 and three demerit points.

- The penalty for passing a school bus with red lights flashing is $368.00 and 3 demerit points. This penalty is for the vehicle that is approaching from behind the bus or any oncoming vehicle. The red flashing lights mean the same thing as an actual stop sign. The red flashing lights signal the loading and unloading of students.

Slowing down while driving through school zones and exercising patience while waiting for school buses to load and unload is the best way to protect school aged children as well as your finances this school year!

— Cst. Chad Neustaeter, Fort St. John RCMP  

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