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Back-to-school: ICBC, police and government join to help keep children safe on our roads

As summer vacations wrap up and children return to school next week, ICBC, police and the provincial government are reminding drivers to make smart decisions: plan ahead for more traffic, drive with extra caution and watch for children, especially in or around school zones.

Every year in B.C., an average of 16,045 children aged five to 18 are involved in crashes, resulting in 5,215 injuries and 34 deaths.*

“We all need to do our part to keep students safe,” said Education Minister George Abbott. “School children will be everywhere in the coming days and every driver should step up their awareness and make sure they are paying attention at the wheel.”

Here are ICBC’s smart driving tips for drivers, parents and students:

 

Tips for parents and students

 

Post these safety tips somewhere in your home and review them with your children — even older children need to be reminded about road safety.

No. 1:  Remove your headphones; put away your phone, MP3 player or other gadgets when crossing a street. Focus your full attention on the road.

No. 2:  Use designated crossing points and follow pedestrian traffic signs and signals. Make eye contact with drivers, so you both see each other.

Teach your child to cross at intersections that have a pedestrian crossing light or a marked crosswalk whenever possible.

No. 3:  Dress to be seen. Wear bright- or light-coloured clothing. In dark or bad weather, wear reflective material on clothes or accessories.

No. 4:  Always walk on the inside edge of the sidewalk — away from the road. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic so you can see oncoming vehicles and drivers can see you.

No. 5:  Be aware of parked vehicles in parking lots and on the road.

Before crossing or walking through a parking lot, stop and look left-right-left around the parked vehicle and avoid taking unnecessary shortcuts through parking lots.

Teach children this catchy chorus from “Walk ‘n’ Roll,” a song by children’s musician Will Stroet, which is included in ICBC’s K-3 school curriculum:

l Wear something bright

l Look left and look right

l Wait for the light

l Make sure you’re in the driver’s eyesight

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