Comox Valley Schools and the local RCMP Detachment are seeing an
increase in driving violations in school zones and around school buses since the return back to
school in September.

The increase in vehicle and pedestrian traffic and school buses in school zones creates more
congestion and requires drivers to be extra vigilant. All motorists must familiarize themselves
with the bright yellow signage to indicate schools and school playgrounds are near.

“Autumn tends to be a critical time for us to remind motorists again to use extra caution and to
abide by the posted speed limits,” shared Tom Demeo, Superintendent of Schools. “We can’t
stress this enough. Safe driving in school zones and near buses is important to avoid accidents,
personal injuries and to protect all pedestrians.”

To increase awareness in the community, the District called upon G.P. Vanier Theatre students
to create a video message about safe driving in school zones and to explain the safe driving
regulations near school buses.

The speed limit in a school zone, unless otherwise posted, is 30 km/h between the hours of 8 a.m.
and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday throughout the school year from September to the end of June. The
speed limit near a playground is 30 km/h from dawn to dusk every day of the year.
District school buses follow the Baltimore System. Wherever possible, bus will pull completely
off the road onto the shoulder to pick up or discharge students. In this case, red flashing lights are
not used. Where it is not possible to pull onto a shoulder, the bus will stop on the roadway, using
red flashing lights. Motorists must come to a stop on either side of the road until the flashing
lights are turned off.

The RCMP and the District also encourage parents and families to teach children to follow a safe
route to and from school. Dress children in bright colours to be noticeable, especially in the
evening and when the weather is poor. Always use a marked crosswalk and look both ways
before crossing. Most importantly, students are reminded to focus. Put away electronics and
other distractions and keep eyes on vehicles and drivers before stepping out onto the street.

“The beginning of the school years is always a busy time in and around schools, so educating
children about safety procedures should also include a review of the rules of the road,” shared
Monika Terragni, Courtenay Detachment RCMP. “Teach your children about road safety
including school bus safety. We all have a role to play in protecting children in and around
schools and buses.”

Mary Lee

Manager of Communications, Comox Valley Schools (School District 71)