With the new school year just starting, here are a number of tips from the RCMP for parents, students and drivers.BC’s Back to School!The beginning of the 2011/2012 school is an exciting time when children return to meet new and old friends and teachers.- Advertisement -However it is also a time when they are at increased risk of transportation related injuries from pedestrian, bicycle, school bus, and motor vehicle crashes. Many more children are on the road each morning and afternoon and it demands that all drivers’ change their driving patterns and be vigilant.. • Until children are about eight years of age, it is difficult for them to assess whether a vehicle is moving or not.• When children see an approaching car, they first notice the colour – not how fast the vehicle is traveling.• Children assume cars stop instantly, and do not have the ability to estimate whether there is enough time to cross the road without being struck.• A child’s field of vision is one-third narrower than an adult’s.• Children have difficulty determining where sounds are coming from.Advertisement Available research indicates that, although so-called youth gang members’ ages range from eight to 50+ in some cases, the average age tends to be 14-16.Gangs spread across all races and ethnic origins. They are not restricted to any one socio-economic group.School age youth looking for a surrogate family are particularly susceptible to gang involvement. Yet gangs function directly in opposition to true families: where families sacrifice for the benefit of the individual member, the gang requires the individual to sacrifice for the whole.Did you know?Dropping out of school or truancy are risk factors influencing a youth’s gang involvement.Gang-related crimes range from vandalism, burglary and theft to arson, assault, drug selling and homicide.Acknowledgment of the problem rather than denial is crucial to developing solutions.Learn more about how to recognize the signs of gang involvement. Did you know?When children see an approaching car, they first notice the colour – not how fast the vehicle is traveling.A child’s field of vision is one-third narrower than an adult’s.Most pedestrian traffic injuries happen to five to nine-year-olds in mid-block crossings, and to 10 to 14-year-olds at intersections.Learn more road safety facts and tips. • Most pedestrian traffic injuries happen to five- to nine-year-olds in mid-block crossings, and to 10- to 14-year-olds at intersections.• It takes a vehicle 13 metres to come to a complete stop when driving 30 km/h, but 27 metres – more than double that distance – when driving 50 km/h.Make the school year one to remember….for life !Motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of injury or death among children.The beginning of the school year is a time when children are at increased risk of transportation related injuries from pedestrian, bicycle, school bus, and motor vehicle crashes. Many more children are on the road each morning and afternoon and it demands that all drivers’ change their driving patterns and be vigilant.Advertisement During the busy back to school season, parents dropping off and picking up their children, and drivers commuting through school zones, need to keep the following facts in mind:• The posted speed limit in school zones is 30 km/h from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. when students are in class.• The posted speed limit in playground zones is 30 km/h from dawn to dusk, every day of the year.• Drivers must watch for children walking on medians, roadways, and curbs, and be cautious when approaching intersections.Advertisement The painted yellow curb lines that prohibit parking in front of a school are there for a reason: to ensure that drivers’ vision and their ability to spot children on the sidewalk or roadway is not impeded. Advertisement Inform yourself of the agenda and strategies of those who would justify, rationalize and legitimize drug use to sell drugs to our children.Young people need adults who they can communicate with about values, feelings and decision-making. This support prepares them for situations where they are introduced to drugs and opens dialogue with them in case they make a mistake.Use open-ended questions such as, “Why do you think drugs are becoming a problem at your school?” Don’t ask, “Have any of your friends asked you to try a drug?”Did you know?Among students who smoked marijuana before age 18, 43% go on to use cocaine; conversely, less than 1% of non-smokers ever use cocaine.Street drugs pose a physical threat as well as a legal one, in that there are no controls on the quality, content, safety or strength of drugs being sold this way.Drug use can affect the health and safety of a young person’s friends and siblings, for example, if they drink and drive, or smoke around others.Learn more about how to talk to youth about drug use and prevention. It is time for everyone – students, motorists, parents, and educators, to improve their traffic safety practices.