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NEWS RELEASE · 30th August 2010
BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation
During the first week of school, and throughout the school year, school zones can be one of the most dangerous places for a child pedestrian.

The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation would like parents, caregivers and all drivers to be aware of a few facts as kids head back to school.

- Research shows that most child pedestrian related injuries occur in September and October, followed by May and June, and children aged 5 to 14 years are at the greatest risk for pedestrian-related fatalities.

- The most frequently reported child pedestrian action that results in injury or death is crossing at an intersection followed by running onto the road.

- The majority of child pedestrian injuries and deaths occur in urban areas, however, when a pedestrian is hit on a rural road, the result is more likely to be fatal because of higher vehicle speeds.

“Talking or texting on cell phones is also a safety risk for pedestrians,” says Linda Lawlor, School Safety Patrol Program Coordinator for the Foundation.

Preliminary research with 10 and 11 year old children provides strong evidence that talking on a cell phone while crossing a street increases a child's risk of being struck by a vehicle by up to one third. This distraction, and its negative impact on a child's crossing decisions, has lead researchers to speculate on the risks of using other devices, such as mp3 players or texting.

The biggest risk to children in school zones is still those parents who continue to make U turns, stop in no-stopping zones, back up into crosswalks, roll through stop signs, ignore the school safety patrollers, let their children out from the driver’s side and into oncoming traffic and speed.

Lawlor suggests that parents and caregivers try healthier ways, such as walking or cycling, of getting to and from school. “Serious or fatal injury is preventable, if parents and drivers take an active role in keeping all kids safe. The more cars we can remove from the roadways around schools, the safer our kids will be.”

Fines and Penalties:

Most school zone speed limits are 30 km/h and are in effect weekdays between 8 AM and 5 PM.

Speed - Fine - Penalty Points

31 - 50 km/h - $196 - 3 Points
51 - 70 km/h - $253 - 3 Points
71 - 90 km/h - $368 - 3 Points
Greater than 90 km/h - $483 - 3 Points