New Back to School Road Safety Tips for BC Drivers

A reminder to keep your eyes on the road in school zones

The new school year is here and while provincial curriculum changes are the talk of the town, there are pressing matters beyond the PTA that BC drivers need to be aware of. For one, school zones are back in effect and as always you must drive with renewed caution. Please review our guide of the five best practices to safe driving during the school year. However, updates to school zones, the ICBC rate model, and road conditions in general are now in effect. Before you hit the road for the remainder of the annum, please read ahead.

3 New Tips for Safer Driving Around BC Schools in 2019-20

1. refresh your SCHOOL ZONE & signage awareness

There are amendments to the BC Motor Vehicle Act regarding school speed zones that you may not know about. The amendments allow school speed zone hours to be extended where warranted, with no zones commencing later than 8 AM or ending sooner than 5 PM. This is reflected in current signage:

BC School Zones

Source: BC Motor Vehicle Act

View more on recent speed zone extensions here, and review all recent July 2019 amendments to the BC Motor Vehicle Act which are in full force for the 2019-20 school year.

Local communities are also calling for school speed zone extensions. For example, in downtown Vancouver, residents are asking the city to institute a new school zone to protect young pedestrians. Whether or not the city complies is beside the point, because the call-to-action indicates a need. Not only should you refresh your knowledge about existing school zones, take note of all schools found along your daily commute and drive more cautiously even if signage isn’t in place to tell you to. That said, be sure to refresh your knowledge of all relevant signs:

 

Back-to-School Road Safety Tips for BC Drivers

Back-to-School Road Safety Tips for BC Drivers

Safe Driving Schools

Safe Driving Around SchoolsSafe Driving Around Schools

Source: BC Motor Vehicle Act

2. Be mindful of new icbc rates

The new school year coincidentally (or maybe not) coincides with the new ICBC rate model which came into effect this week. In general, the new model will have high-risk drivers paying more than their low risk counterparts. It considers driver experience, crash background, intended use, others who may be using/borrowing a vehicle, and other considerations. You can view the original updates here, and the most recent June 2019 amendment which states driver convictions will also play into premium calculations. While you should always drive defensively, with extreme caution, and without distraction around school zones for the sake of children, you now have another incentive. Infractions can hit harder than ever in your pocketbook.

3. sharing the road with uber/lyft

Ride hailing services including Uber and Lyft have been granted entry into the Greater Vancouver BC market. Because of this you may be seeing more families ditch taxis, carpools, and transit and opt for an Uber for AM school drop-offs. With more roadside drops in school zones comes a greater risk of side swiping as passengers hop out of an idling vehicle and rush to make the morning bell. Be more mindful than ever when you see a vehicle pull up beside a school because there’s a good chance that they are not parking.


If you have any questions about the new ICBC rate model and whether or not your current policy will be impacted, contact a broker at Park Insurance today.