By Tiffany Williams
As young students prepare to go back to school it is also the start of a busy time of year for Ponoka RCMP officers. They are busy patroling school zones and trying to keep the motoring public to a reasonable pace as well as providing a safe atmosphere throughout the area according to Sgt. Glenn Demaere of the Ponoka RCMP.
As children are walking to school he thinks that it is important for parents to teach children to ‘Point, Pause and Proceed’ when crossing the road.
“When children walk to school they should keep to familiar routes to and from school and stay on the sidewalks. They should also cross in marked crosswalks, look both ways and only cross when it is safe to do so,” said Demaere.
With children walking more in and around school zones Demaere thinks that parents should also look out and watch for children along the roads. The biggest thing that parents should remember is to slow down in school zones.
“Children tend to be impulsive little people and are known to dart out onto the road without warning,” said Demaere. “Parents should reinforce any family rules about how they are to travel to and from school and the after school rules”
Demaere thinks if children have to ride the bus to get to school they should follow the instructions of the driver and sit quietly on the bus. Students should always be extra careful when they are leaving the bus.
“Always be careful getting on or off the bus as this is where most accidents occur, especially when crossing the road,” said Demaere. “If you miss the bus do not accept a ride from a stranger and have a safe place you can go to wait for a safe ride.”
Demaere also reminds motorists to watch for school buses loading or unloading and to remember that it is a $402 fine for passing a school bus with its lights flashing.