Const. Matthew Baker of the West Shore RCMP hands out cards on Tuesday that were coloured by students at Hans Helgensen Elementary school to drivers as part of ICBC’s Think of Me campaign, which reminds drivers to slow down in school zones. Officers handed out cards to drivers by Ruth King elementary earlier this day as well. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

School zones come back into effect

School zones resume after Labour Day weekend

Kids are back to the books next week as school is back in session after Labour Day and, for everyone’s safety, motorists are reminded to slow down, leave their phones alone, yield to buses, watch for children on the road and obey parking signs.

Starting Sept. 4, West Kelowna RCMP and Bylaw Enforcement Officers will be at school zones around the city as a friendly reminder to motorist to follow the rules of the road. Those who ignore the message could face tickets and fines.

The speed limit through school zones is 30 kilometres per hour from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all days that classes are in session – generally Monday to Friday, except statutory holidays and winter, spring and summer breaks. The speed limit remains in effect until a sign on the opposite end of the school zone indicates it ends. The City has a portable speed reader board which will be at various area schools this fall to reinforce the 30 kilometres per hour speed limit.

Related: Back to school: ICBC says nearly 400 kids injured each year

Under Section 3.1 of B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act, using a cell phone or electronic device, for any reason, while driving is illegal – it puts the lives of everyone on the road at risk.

Drivers are also reminded that when a school bus turns on its flashing red lights, vehicles in all lanes, in both directions, must stop. Drivers should be aware that older students may use public transit, and motorists need to slow down around city buses and watch for pedestrians that may be walking out into the street in front of or behind a stopped bus. Yield to buses that are ready to pull back into traffic.

Related: ICBC warns of deadly crashes on last long weekend in Okanagan

West Kelowna Bylaw Enforcement Officers will also patrol school zones to watch for parking infractions which are common during the first few weeks of school. Parking restrictions are put in place to eliminate hazards and congestion that can lead to accidents and to ensure that nearby residences and businesses can still be safely accessed.

Motorist are reminded that Boucherie Road remains under construction and that the Boucherie Road and Hudson Road intersection is closed. Construction will also begin Sept. 5 on the roundabout at the Glenrosa Rd/Webber Rd intersection.

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