Some precious cargo will be travelling the roadways in and around Swift Current more frequently again starting today.

School is officially back in session for students today, and residents will notice busier streets and sidewalks as kids make their way to and from learning. 

Spokesperson for SGI, Tyler McMurchy, said that anyone driving through school zones should be prepared for the unexpected. 

“It's definitely an exciting time of year for parents who are offloading their children back into the school system, and it's an exciting time for students,” he said. “There's going to be a lot going on in those school zones: students walking to and from the building, getting off the bus, being dropped off by their parents, playing in the schoolyard, crossing a crosswalk. So, with the amount of activity that we expect to happen in school zones, we want drivers to remember that they have a test to pass, too, whenever they're passing through those school zones. They need to slow down, obey those posted school zone speed limits, avoid distractions and be alert.” 

He added that consequences for violating road rules are more detrimental when taking place in school zones. 

For example, driving 20 kilometers per hour over the posted limit in a school zone results in a $310 ticket accompanied by three demerit points. 

Other infractions McMurchy pointed out are failing to yield to pedestrians in an intersection or crosswalk, which is a $230 ticket and three demerits. Disobeying the red stop arm that extends from school buses will cost four demerit points and $360. 

“Kids are as safe as they're ever going to be on school buses; they're the safest vehicles statistically on the road,” he stated. “But it's when they're getting on and off those school buses that you need to take care.  

“If the school buses are unloading across from the school or as you're traveling through the neighborhood, you encounter a school bus with its lights flashing, drivers absolutely need to pay a little bit extra attention, making sure that no kids are going to be crossing either in front or behind the school bus, where that visibility might be reduced, and slow down. Give that school bus a wide berth. If it's got the red stop arm extended, you need to stop. If it's got flashing yellow lights, you can proceed with a lot of caution."

While drivers and passersby have a responsibility to keep the students safe by using extra caution and preparing for any situation, parents of kids can also go another mile.

McMurchy noted that teaching kids how to cross the street safely and dropping them off at crosswalks is a major component for their safety. 

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