By J.W. Schnarr
While local police encourage good driving habits and for local residents to be safety-conscious at all times, the beginning of the school year represents a particularly dangerous one in terms of road safety.
Children are out in greater numbers – particularly on their way to and from school, and drivers should take care to keep an eye out when they try to cross the street.
Additionally, police are reminding children on bicycles that helmets need to be worn, and not wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle could result in fines.
Here are some driver safety tips to consider when picking up or dropping children off in school zones and other areas, courtesy the RCMP:
Try and leave home five –10 minutes early, as you are likely to pay more attention when you do not feel rushed;
obey all traffic control devices, stop signs and school bus lights;
the faster you travel the longer it takes for your vehicle to stop. Slowing down for children on bicycles and or on foot who may suddenly enter the street will ensure your vehicle is able to stop in time;
watch the traffic around you. If a vehicle is stopping in front of you, stay behind it and do not attempt to pass, as they could be stopping for a pedestrian; and
try and obtain eye contact with pedestrians and other driver’s at intersections before proceeding.
Taber Police Service would also like to remind young bicycle riders and their families that it is against the law for children under 18 to ride their bikes without a safety helmet.
Not wearing a helmet can result in a number of fines, including:
Section 111(1) – Person less than 18 years not properly wearing a safety helmet on a bicycle could face a fine of $93; or
Sec 111(2) – Parent/Guardian of person less than18 years authorize/knowingly permit person to operate/ride on bicycle without properly wearing safety helmet could face a fine of $93; or
Sec 111(3) – Operate bicycle on which less than 18 years not properly wearing safety helmet could face a fine of $93.
In the past few years, two children in Taber have suffered brain injuries as a result of riding a bicycle without a helmet and being struck by vehicles.
A properly worn bike helmet reduces the risk of a rider getting a brain injury by almost 90 per cent.
No helmet, no bike. It’s the law.
Public and Traffic Safety continues to be a priority within the municipalities of Taber for the Taber/Vauxhall RCMP detachment.