Manitoba

Back to school prompts reminder to slow down in school zones

The start of a new school year has Manitoba Public Insurance and CAA Manitoba once again reminding motorists to slow down when driving through school zones.

Manitoba Public Insurance and CAA Manitoba reminding drivers to be careful in school zones

Reduced speed limits in school zones came back into effect on Sept. 1, but MPI and CAA Manitoba say they want to remind drivers to take precautions as students return to school on Wednesday. (Brett Purdy/CBC)

The start of a new school year has Manitoba Public Insurance and CAA Manitoba once again reminding motorists to slow down when driving through school zones.

The two agencies and citizen patrol groups were stationed outside some Winnipeg schools on Wednesday to monitor how fast drivers are going near schools, which have a speed limit of 30 km/h.

Members of Citizens on Patrol monitor drivers' speeds outside Strathcona School in Winnipeg on Wednesday morning. (Brett Purdy/CBC)
The reduced school zone speed limits actually came back into effect on Sept. 1, but the groups say they want to remind drivers to take precautions as students return to school this week.

"I think people are very easily distracted when they are driving," said Annette Champion-Taylor of the William Whyte Residents Association, which had a Citizens on Patrol group outside Strathcona School on Wednesday morning.

"We just want to remind people that when you are behind the wheel, you have to be paying attention to what you are doing, especially in school zones."

The two agencies have the following tips for avoiding collisions:

  • Look well ahead for school buses and school zone signs and slow down in school zones.
  • Wait for children to cross the street completely before driving.
  • Stop at least five metres behind a school bus when the upper red lights are flashing. Don't proceed until the bus's stop sign is closed and the the lights stop flashing.
  • Scan under parked vehicles to look out for children's feet.
  • Make lane changes early to make room for children on bicycles, skateboards or roller blades.
  • Drop off children in a safe area, away from traffic. Use a designated drop-off zone if your school has one.
  • Cross only at intersections — preferably those with patrols or signs — whenever possible.
  • If walking, cross the street as quickly as possible, even if there are traffic signals.

With files from the CBC's Brett Purdy

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