Roughly 21,000 students in the Central Okanagan returned to classes on Tuesday.
With schools back in session, it also means all those students will be on area roads, traveling back and forth to their various schools by foot, bike, car, bus and a number of other
“We all have to be extra vigilant during this time,” said Dave Gibson, Kelowna RCMP regional traffic safety officer.
“We are used to going through school zones without reducing our speed to 30 km/h during the summer months.”
School zone signs go back into effect Sept. 8 and speed limits within are enforced from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on days that schools are in session.
Gibson also wants to remind the public about the re-appearance of school buses on our roadways.
Traffic must stop in both directions when a school bus is stopped and displaying red flashing lights with an extended stop sign.
Every year, the City of Kelowna picks a different school site to be the focal school of the back to school safety campaign.
This year, the school chosen is Anne McClymont Elementary in the Okanagan Mission on Lakeshore Road.
Gibson noted the city has been responsive to the concerns of citizens who have been petitioning for upgrades to enhance the safety of students traveling to and from this school.
City crews and contractors have been busy during the summer months to bring about these major infrastructure changes and enhancements.
A good portion of the construction in front of the school was completed for the start of school and most of the on-going construction will be at either end of the school zone.
Purvez Irani, infrastructure delivery project manager for the City of Kelowna, suggests that those needing to visit the school should park a short distance away and walk onto the site, thus alleviating some of the vehicular congestion.
A new drop-off zone has also been created in front of the school, in the drive-through area.