School starts tomorrow and city administrators would like to remind drivers to watch out for students.
RCMP and Community Safety Officers will be patrolling school safety zones and the North Battleford Fire Department will have signs put up to remind all drivers to recognize the speed change.
In a press release, city staff asked drivers to please remember to always follow the posted school zone speed limits and remember that every driver must stop before reaching a school bus that has its overhead red signal-lights flashing and side stop sign out.
School zones are not the only concern. The fast food restaurants on North Battleford’s 100th St. are a hot spot for students on their lunch break. With the increase of people on the busiest street in the city, there is a higher chance of a potential tragedy.
For the most part, every intersection, controlled or not, is a civilian crosswalk. Robert Gillan, Unit Commander of the Community Safety Officer program said even though that may be the case, it’s up to drivers and pedestrians to make it safe.
“Technically pedestrians have the right of way but that doesn’t mean they can just walk out onto the road,” Gillan said. “They have to allow traffic to move as well, just like drivers have yield to them.”
Gillan said in a perfect world pedestrians would only cross at controlled intersections but understands it doesn't always work that way.
He said there are occurrences of a lot of people running across the roads in between intersections and although there hasn’t been an incident yet, he said people run “at their own peril.”
Gillan said vehicles have the right of way mid-block so pedestrians must yield to them. He added vehicles have to proceed with caution through intersections which do not have crosswalk markings.
“Saskatchewan Government Insurance has given us the list of the most dangerous intersections and we are frequenting them. We haven’t had a big accident involving a pedestrian but we don’t want to wait until it is too late either,” he said.
Gillan emphasized pedestrians should look both ways and make sure all traffic in both directions has stopped before entering. He asked vehicles to pay attention to the right lane because a car may be stopped to let a pedestrian cross they might not see until it is too late.
Greg Higgins is battlefordsNOW's city municipal affairs and health reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @realgreghiggins.
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