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Saanich police, ICBC join forces to advocate for back-to-school road safety

Motorists reminded to take care making their way through school zones
At Lakehill Elementary School on Sept. 8, Saanich Police Department’s Const. Markus Anastasiades and ICBC’s Colleen Woodger hold a sign created by a young student designed to remind drivers about back-to-school road safety. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Neighbourhood streets are filled with young students this week as children make their way to and from school.

As normalcy slowly returns, it also serves as a reminder to motorists to take care as they make their way through the now-busy school zones.

ICBC and the Saanich Police Department joined forces at Lakehill Elementary School on the second day back to school on Sept. 8 to remind motorists of their responsibility to drive with caution and follow road rules.

Colleen Woodger, ICBC’s road safety and community coordinator, said getting kids to school safely is a top priority.

Woodger said the Capital Regional District’s Ready, Step Roll program, an annual active school travel planning initiative, is one way the CRD is helping students and their families walk and wheel to and from school more often.

ALSO READ: Better Mobility Saanich advocates for safer back-to-school travel

“At the end of the school year students participated in an art project about their safety concerns and expressed that through their art,” she said. “We have a large stack of cards that we made bigger to send a message to drivers, and smaller cards going to the police department to be given out roadside along with a ticket to serve as a teachable moment – or however police want to use them.”

The program aims to create a safe environment for kids so they can get to school safely and so parents feel comfortable seeing their kids off each day.

“We’re excited to be here to welcome kids back to school,” said Saanich Police Const. Markus Anastasiades. “We want to ensure people driving through the school zones are mindful of the school zone speed and in addition to speed, this is the last place you want to be distracted while driving.”

Anastasiades encouraged motorists to take extra time, slow down and be mindful of one’s surroundings to ensure everyone gets to school safely.

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