Start safe school driving habits now

Start safe school driving habits now

Students will be heading back to school Sept. 6

Students will be heading back to school Sept. 6, which means drivers need to brush up on safe practices in and around school zones and school buses.

The Canada Safety Council has a list of tips that we should all read carefully and commit to memory.

It’s mostly common sense stuff, but the annual spike in injuries and fatalities among young pedestrians at this time of year suggests common sense needs reinforcement every school year. So:

• Leave yourself a bit of extra time to get wherever you’re going. Being in a rush is no excuse for disobeying the rules of the road.

• When a bus has its arm extended or flashing lights on, stop. It’s the law; don’t proceed until the lights are turned off.

• Slow down in school zones and be vigilant and careful in residential areas where children are present.

Moving slowly and predictably helps children feel more at ease and less likely make rushed decisions.

• Avoid doing manoeuvres like three-point turns and U-turns in school zones. Children are often unfamiliar or simply not expecting these kinds of vehicle motions.

• Always obey crossing guards and signage.

• Give cyclists a wide berth and shoulder check for cyclists before opening your door.

• Never let your child out of the car when they’ll be stepping into a traffic lane. Make sure they’re stepping out onto a sidewalk or away from the flow of traffic. You might even consider stopping a block or so away from the school and walking with your child, in order to reduce congestion and confusion around the school drop off area.