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Lethbridge drivers reminded to slow down as students head back to class

Lethbridge students are back to school starting next week and authorities are reminding drivers about an important change to the traffic rules in school and playground zones.

Students will begin the new school year on Sept. 5 and police say motorists will need to slow down to 30 km/h in all school zones from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Those guidelines are in place year round, so they are now the same as playground zones.

“The decision to harmonize school and playground zones aligns with recommendations from the 2021 transportation safety plan and will help increase safety for youngsters accessing playground equipment during and after school hours,” the Lethbridge Police Service said in a statement.

“One fixed time will also make it easier for motorists to remember to slow down.”

Officials say the change is backed up by research, which suggests harmonized zones reduce the likelihood of pedestrian collisions by 33 per cent over and by 70 per cent between the times posted.

In addition to following the speed limit, police also ask drivers to park legally and watch out for school buses.

“In the City of Lethbridge there is a bylaw prohibiting school buses from using their stop lights and stop arms, but drivers are still urged to use caution when navigating around buses that are stopped,” police said.

Police are reminding pedestrians to stay safe as well by always crossing the street at corners or marked crosswalks and obey all other traffic safety rules.

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