Editorial: Changing seasons bring awareness

Back to school safety is for everyone

There are a few points in the calendar that mark major changes, like New Year’s Day and the start of a fresh year.

Labour Day weekend is another; it’s still a few weeks till the official start of fall, but the shift in activities starts now.

There are still lots of September events — Pentastic Hot Jazz Fest, Canucks Young Stars Classic and the Dragon Boat Festival this weekend — but along with the leaves beginning to turn colour, the surest sign we are easing into the final weeks of summer is that students headed back to class this week.

It’s a time of year that brings on mixed emotions from everybody: parents sad to not be able to spend as much time with their kids and happy not to have them underfoot, kids anxious about starting a new school new clothes and all the gear, the scary excitement of new classes, new friends or perhaps even a new school to learn about.

The one thing students shouldn’t be worried about is crossing the road. Drivers have enjoyed a couple of months of school speed zones being suspended, but they’re all back in force now. And as students move from school to school, they may not be as familiar with the roads around their school as you are.

Drivers should always be careful in school zones, just as they are around playgrounds and parks. There is no telling when a child or youth may be crossing the street on their way to play. But this time of year, when everyone — students and drivers — are adjusting to new conditions, demands special care on the part of drivers.

It’s a good time for drivers to review the speed zones on their commute and it’s also a good time for parents to talk about road safety with their children: basic rules like looking both ways, not stepping into traffic from between parked cars or making sure the bus driver can see them before walking in front of it.