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Expect more traffic congestion, as kids head back to school

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – You could find yourself sitting in traffic a little longer than usual, as tens of thousands of children head back for their first day of school today.

With the extra traffic on the roads, the Vancouver Police Department will be watching to make sure drivers follow the rules to keep our kids safe.

Chad Dey in the News1130 Air Patrol says there is one big thing to watch out for. “School zones and the speed limits there. It is easy during the summer months when those are not in effect to go a little bit faster in those areas.”

“Everybody is getting their regular routine back in gear and of course all those school zones are going to be packed with kids heading back to school, so make sure you’re paying attention in those areas and obeying the speed limit,” he adds.

The maximum is 30km/h between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Police will also be making sure drivers are stopping for kids at pedestrian crossings and ensuring drivers in both directions stop for school buses when their lights are flashing.

The VPD and ICBC are working together to remind drivers to leave themselves more time to get to their destination because of the extra traffic.

Dey says there will be certain areas that will be moving slower than normal. “The Massey Tunnel is going to see some more volume especially out of Ladner and Tsawwassen and the Alex Fraser Bridge is going to be busier.”

His suggestion to avoid being late? “Maybe leaving about 20 minutes half an hour earlier is going to save you a bit of time. You might arrive a little bit early but you never know with the traffic that we have on our major routes in the Lower Mainland.

For their part, students are being advised to take off their earbuds and put away their phones, so they are not distracted and they can hear oncoming traffic when crossing the street.

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