School is back! Time to slow down!

Signs remind motorists of new school zone times that take effect as students return to classes in late August and early September. The time has extended to a full day on school days 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Changes effect schools in High Prairie, Grouard, Joussard and Kinuso.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Motorists are advised to watch for students and school buses as students head back to classes.

Drivers in High Prairie and Big Lakes County are reminded of new school zone times around schools.

The time has been extended to a full day 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on school days.

The High Prairie and Area Traffic Safety Coalition initiated the change to all-day school zones that is supported by High Prairie School Division.

The coalition says it’s easier for motorists to remember, rather than having school zones in effect for shorter periods during a school day.

Times for school zones are also 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Falher, Donnelly and McLennan.

School zone times vary in other school divisions and communities.

“When approaching a school bus – think about the students,” says Harry Davis, director of transportation for High Prairie School Division.

“When you see a bus, stay back, slow down and take in the big picture.

“When the alternating amber lights are activated, that means the bus is preparing to stop to pick up or drop off students.”

He reminds motorists that the maximum speed for buses on a highway is 90 km/hr.

When the stop arm is extended, alternating red flashing lights are activated indicating the bus has stopped and is in the process of picking up or dropping off students.


“It is illegal to pass a bus with its alternating red lights flashing,” Davis says.

“Failure to comply can result in a $543 fine and six demerit points.”

Bus drivers have another source of vision.

“All our buses have camera systems installed for another set of eyes for the driver,” Davis says.

Several measures have been made to ensure students and adults are safe on the buses to prevent the risk and spread of the coronavirus in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“HPSD is very diligent in ensuring the safety of its students, bus drivers and staff by following Alberta’s chief medical officer of health directions and mandate,” Davis says.

Motorists are reminded to stop for school buses when red lights are flashing. Anyone passing a school bus faces a fine of $543 and six demerit points.

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