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School zones will be active starting tomorrow – 6500 tickets were handed out last year

It’s that time of the year again.

Students are trying to squeeze the last hours out of summer break today, and parents might be counting those hours down: school is back in session tomorrow.

This means more than packing lunches and catching up with playground friends, it also means 30km/h school zones will be active tomorrow morning at 8am.

According to ICBC, 6,500 tickets were handed out in school and park zones last year.

“We need to make sure we adjust our speed to drive the speed limit, or even a little bit below to make sure that we are able to see those kids as they come out and dart across the road, as kids sometimes do,” said Doug MacDonald, Northern BC’s ICBC Road Safety and Community Coordinator.

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In North Central BC, one child walking or on a bike is killed every year in a vehicle accident, 11 more are injured. In school and playground zones, 6 are injured every year.

In Prince George every year, four are injured while walking or biking, one in a school or park zone.

MacDonald says we can’t expect kids to know the rules of the road, or even be familiar with their route to school this early in the year if they are new to a school or to town.

He says the biggest thing is to leave the phone alone.

A separate study says 43% of drivers in the province admit to using their phone while driving at least once out of every 10 trips.

73% of respondents think there is a good chance they could be caught by police for distracted driving, yet nearly half of the population still does.

The study says driving while using your phone puts your risk of crashing at five times higher.

On average, 14 people are killed in North Central BC in distracted driving related crashes every year; 77 across the province.

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