Back-to-school cheat sheet for drivers from NS RCMP

Students cross the road under the watchful eye of an RCMP officer and a school crossing guard. (RCMP photo)

FALL RIVER: Back-to-school is an exciting time for many children (and an even more exciting time for parents and guardians!), but as young scholars settle into their September routines, drivers should be extra careful in school zones.

In an effort to help protect kids heading back to school, Nova Scotia RCMP is offering motorists a cheat sheet to refresh their traffic safety knowledge.

Slow down in school zones.

Different school zones have different speed limits. If the speed limit is 50 km/h, motorists must slow to a maximum of 30 km/h when children are present.

If the speed limit is higher than 50 km/h, motorists must slow to a maximum of 50 km/h in school zones when children are present.

During school hours, motorists must lower their speed and assume children are present. On weekends, evenings and holidays, motorists may drive the posted speed limit unless there are children near the school zone.

Speeding in a school zone can mean a first offense fine of:

  • $352.50 and two points on a driver’s license for travelling 1-15 km/h over the speed limit
  • $467.50, three points on a driver’s license and a seven day license suspension for travelling 16-30 km/h over the speed limit
  • $697.50, four points on a driver’s license and a 7 day license suspension for travelling 31 or more km/h over the speed limit

Respect school buses.

Drivers must stop when they approach a school bus that has its red lights flashing and stay stopped until the lights turn off. Failing to do so can mean a first offense fine of $410.

Drivers must also drive with caution when passing a school bus with flashing amber lights. Failing to do so can mean a first offense fine of $295.

Students can help keep themselves safe around school buses by walking 10 feet in front of the bus and waiting until the driver says it’s safe to cross the street.

Be careful at intersections.

Both drivers and pedestrians should approach crosswalks cautiously. Drivers should treat all intersections as implied crosswalks, especially in busy areas.

At intersections with a crossing guard, drivers should wait until the guard says it’s safe to cross.

Thank you for your help to keep kids safe as they head back to class.

For more school zone safety tips, “like” us on Facebook (Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia), follow us on Twitter (@RCMPNS) and look for the hashtag #BacktoSchoolSafety.