With children heading back into classes today in Abbotsford and Mission, drivers should take extra caution as everyone gets settled into their new routines, say police.
"We'll have our traffic section and other members out for the first week around the school zones certainly, to bring awareness to the fact that school's back in," said Mission RCMP Const. Alan Windover.
Abbotsford Police, too, will have a full complement of traffic units and patrols out at school zones this week, said Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald.
School areas will be significantly congested on both sides of the river as many parents drive their children to school, which inevitably creates traffic jams as they drop them off and pick them up. Students of all ages may also be more excited about seeing friends rather than watching for vehicles, so drivers should be alert.
While today is a half-day for most schools, or features staggered hours for various grades, Sept. 5 will be a full day, so the traffic will be most affected in the morning before 9 a.m., and in mid-afternoon when classes are let out.
Drivers should also take extra caution around school buses, and stop when they do.
"People can expect to see both marked and unmarked vehicles [in school areas]. We're anticipating more traffic, but we hope we won't have to re-educate a lot of drivers," MacDonald said. "Take it slow, watch out for the little ones. We will be."
In Abbotsford, the big event will be the reopening of Abbotsford Senior Secondary, which underwent a $45-million revival that will include a community library incorporated into the LEED gold building.
In both districts, parents can check their schools' websites for opening day schedules, events, information and upcoming meetings.
Parents are also encouraged to talk with their school personnel for details.
To find dates for upcoming board of education meetings, see the Mission School District website at www.mpsd.ca, or the Abbotsford School District website at www.sd34.bc.ca.