Strathcona County RCMP - Back to School Safety Tips

Sherwood Park, Alta. – As the new school year starts, the Strathcona County RCMP, along with our enforcement partners will be involved in educating the public on back to school safety. For children this is an exciting time of year and they may forget basic road safety rules as they walk, bicycle or ride the bus to school. Motorists are urged to use caution when driving through residential areas and to adhere to speed limits in school and playground zones.

“Most pedestrian traffic injuries happen to five- to nine-year-olds in mid-block crossings, and to 10- to 14-year-olds at intersections,” says Cst. Chantelle Kelly of the Strathcona County RCMP. “Children have difficulty judging oncoming vehicle speeds and drivers may find it hard to see children who are smaller in height.”

Tips for Parents

  • Allow more time. As a new school year begins, allow yourself more time to get where you are going until you can figure out the effects of increased traffic.
  • Stay alert. Make a mental note of any new/existing bus stops or students walking to and from school. This way you will not be surprised and will be prepared if you need to stop.
  • Learn the rules. Schools usually have places for parents to drop off and pick up children. If you are driving your child to school, learn where these areas are and follow the procedures.
  • Yield to pedestrians. Remember to yield to children/parents in crosswalks. When a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, they have the right-of-way.
  • Do not drive while distracted. Always be alert of your surroundings.

Tips for Students

  • Always buckle up when you’re riding in a car.
  • Always wear a helmet and follow traffic safety rules when riding your bike.
  • If you ride a school bus, learn and practice the safety rules for waiting at the bus stop, getting on and off the bus, and riding the bus.
  • If you walk to school, learn and practice the safety rules for pedestrians. Always cross at a crosswalk; obey all traffic signs and traffic lights.

Speed limits in school zones and playground zones:

  • The speed limit in a school zone is 30 kilometres per hour unless otherwise posted. A school zone is in effect on school days from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • The speed limit in a playground zone is 30 kilometres per hour unless otherwise posted. Playground zone is everyday from 8:30 a.m. to one hour after sunset.

The Strathcona County RCMP strives to provide citizens with a safe and secure community, one of our priorities is to improve traffic safety through enforcement and public education. The Strathcona County RCMP and Strathcona County Enforcement Services will be increasing enforcement in school zones early in the school year in an effort to remind students and motorists to be careful on the roadways around school and playground zones and to obey the traffic laws.