Slow down. School begins next week!

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Kids hit the books Sept. 7, and motorists are reminded to slowdown in school and playground zones, stop for buses, watch for students riding and walking to school and catching the bus, and ensure they follow the rules of the road.

“As children return to classes after this coming Labour Day long weekend, West Kelowna RCMP asks motorists to keep kids safe by staying alert and sticking to the 30 kilometre per hour speed limits in school zones, unless otherwise posted,” says Staff Sgt. Duncan Dixon. “School zones are in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all days that classes are in session.”

In school and playground zones, fines for speeding range from $196 to $483 plus potential driver risk premiums added to your insurance, according to ICBC.

West Kelowna Bylaw Officers also remind motorists to only stop or park in designated areas around schools in order to avoid fines. Do not block bus stops, crosswalks, driveways or sidewalks or park in any way that creates hazards for pedestrians, cyclists, buses and other motorists.

West Kelowna RCMP reminds motorists that distracted driving is as much a danger as speeding.

“Cell phone use is a big no when you are driving; not even a glimpse is okay,” says Dixon.

Motorists need to yield to and stop for buses. When a school bus turns on its flashing red lights, vehicles in all lanes, in both directions, must stop. Drivers need to use caution around public transit too, as students 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.