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Montreal motorists reminded to slow down as kids head back to school

WATCH: It’s that time of year again when thousands of kids return to school after a long summer break. As Global's Phil Carpenter reports, authorities are reminding both motorists and cyclists to be careful around school zones.

Drivers will now have to slow down in sections in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, where reduced speed limits have been introduced on major arteries just as the new school year gets underway.

“We hope they will calm down when they pass in front of the school,” says François Limoges, a city councillor for Saint-Édouard district.

“We want to improve not only the security, but the feeling of security of the parents and the children.”

Montreal drivers will now have a reduced speed limit of 30 kilometres per hour near parks and schools on St-Denis Street, St-Joseph Boulevard and Christophe-Colomb Avenue.

READ MORE: Grades 4 and 5 students monitor traffic in front of Kirkland school to improve safety

As students return to school this week, the measure is just one way authorities are reminding motorists to be careful in school zones.

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“Yes it is a problem,” CAA-Quebec spokesperson Annie Gauthier told Global News. “We tend to forget about how to behave and each year when it’s time to go back to school it’s also when people are going back to work as well.

“They’re returning to a normal schedule. There’s a lot of tension, a lot of congestion.”

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She says because more parents are now driving their children to class, there are more cars around schools, which increases the risk of accidents.

Sgt. Jean-Bruno Latour, who works for the Montreal police’s road safety division, said some of the more common infractions around school zones are “not stopping at stop signs, for both cyclists and motorists, and not yielding to either cyclists or pedestrians.”

The CAA says the most common problem is speeding.

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“Not respecting the 30 km/h limit that is imposed everywhere in Quebec,” Gauthier said.

“It could be fatal.”

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Latour also wants to remind drivers respecting the speed limit means driving below 30 km/h.

“It’s like going 20 or 25 and especially when it’s dark or when it’s raining or snowing people must slow down.”

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The CAA adds that one group of motorists really should be especially careful: parents.

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Parents are usually more concerned for the safety of their kids around school areas, but they’re often the first to commit an infraction, according to the organization.

Latour points out that though the penalties for traffic infractions are stiff, taking a life is far more serious.