With children going back to school Monday, West Kelowna streets will be active with pedestrians, cyclists and motorists around school zones. West Kelowna RCMP and Bylaw Enforcement officers will be conducting traffic safety and parking blitzes in school zones when school starts as children get back to the books.
Construction continues on Westlake Road, a main route to the new Mar Jok Elementary School in Rose Valley. Motorists heading to Mar Jok are reminded to use the detour route via McDougall Road until Westlake Road is fully open in October. Pedestrians can use McDougall Road or, if coming from the Caledonia subdivision, can take a pedestrian walkway up through the neighbourhood to access Westlake Road above the construction zone via Sunview Drive (see map). A new pedestrian crossing light has been installed at the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Westlake Road.
TT Contracting Ltd., Westlake Road construction contractor, has established a process to escort school children before and after school through the construction zone if that route is preferred. Students will be met by escorts at the corner of Caledonia Way in the morning and at Rosewood Drive in the afternoon.
RCMP officers will be ticketing speeders and watching for distracted drivers to remind the public of the importance of road safety in and around all schools. Bylaw Enforcement officers will be watching for parking violations.
Special attention is being given to school zones, where children will be walking and cycling each weekday, as the start of school often brings traffic congestion and inappropriate parking in these areas.
The speed limit through school zones is typically 30 kilometres per hour from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on school days, unless otherwise posted. The limit remains in effect until a sign on the opposite end of the school zone indicates it ends. 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 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.
ICBC’s Learn to Drive Smart driver’s guide can be found online at www.icbc.com and can help motorists brush up on rules of the road, including school zone signage, and sharing our streets with pedestrians, cyclists and buses.