Driving like a jerk in a school zone, and getting caught, can get very expensive.
Fines range from $167 for failing to stop for a school bus, failing to yield to pedestrians or disobeying a school patrol guard, to $196 to $253 for speeding in school or playground zones.
Car crashes are the number-one preventable cause of death for B.C. residents ages five to 18.
Cpl. Robert McDonald, of RCMP traffic services for the Lower Mainland, advises both drivers and pedestrians to make eye contact with one another, to make sure they're seen. Pedestrians, he said, should also dress to be seen.
"Wear bright or light coloured clothing. In dark or bad weather, wear reflective material on clothes or accessories."
"Be aware of parked vehicles in a parking lot or on the road," McDonald added. "A driver may not see you between parked vehicles and you may not see them moving. Before crossing or walking through a parking lot, stop and look left, right, left, around parked vehicles. Children should avoid taking shortcuts through parking lots."
An 82-year-old Surrey man died in Royal Columbian Hospital this week after being hit by a motorist who wasn't able to see him because another car blocked his view.
The victim was crossing in the 7300-block of King George Boulevard on Sunday evening, not in a crosswalk, when the Chevrolet Venture hit him.
Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet said the man's death underlines the importance of using crosswalks.
"This victim would still be alive today," Paquet said. The motorist, a 62-year-old Surrey man, was not injured. He hadn't been speeding, and the weather was fine.
"The victim pretty much stepped in front of him," Paquet said.
As for children heading back to school, and with many people now heading back to work, the Surrey RCMP will be out in "full force" patrolling school zones to ensure compliance with the Motor Vehicle Act.
"Students are also reminded to cross the road defensively and assume that they are not always seen," Paquet said.
Last year, Surrey Mounties issued more than 250 tickets for speeding in school zones. Excessive speeding - 70 km/h in a 30 km/h zone - will result in your vehicle being impounded for seven days.
So far this year, the Surrey RCMP criminal collision investigative team has investigated 20 serious traffic crashes involving eight deaths and 12 people suffering life-threatening or serious injuries. Two of those killed were pedestrians.
In White Rock, RCMP volunteers have been tying yellow ribbons of police tape around signposts in an effort to remind drivers to slow down.
"Many more children are on the road each morning and afternoon and it demands that all drivers change their driving patterns and be vigilant," said Const. Janelle Shoihet of the White Rock RCMP.
The Delta Police are also patrolling school zones, said Sgt. Ciaran Feenan. "We've got a presence out there. We want the kids to get back to school in a safe manner."
The 30-km/h speed limit in school zones is in effect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and in playground zones the 30-km/h limit runs from dusk to dawn, all year.
© Copyright 2013