With children and youth returning to school in the coming weeks, the Canada Safety Council reminds drivers to be extra cautious on the roads during this busy time of year.
“We owe it to the young people in our communities to review and respect the rules around school zones,” says Jack Smith, president of the Canada Safety Council.
Driving Tips to Keep Kids Safe
1. Reduce your speed. Be more careful in residential areas where children are present. Respect speed limits in school zones and playground zones.
2. Stop for school buses displaying the flashing red lights and the extended stop arm. In most cases, traffic in both directions must stop for school buses. Do not continue on until the flashing lights stop.
3. Obey crossing guards.
4. Never overtake other vehicles within a school zone or within a half block of any crosswalk.
5. Avoid U-turns and three-point turns in school zones. Children can have a difficult time predicting these types of vehicle manoeuvers.
6. Give cyclists a wide berth (a minimum clearance of one metre is the rule in some jurisdictions).
7. Shoulder check before opening your vehicle door.
8. Leave extra time to reach your destination.
9. If you observe reckless driving or suspect a driver is impaired, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so, and report the incident to police by calling 911.
10. Choose public transit and active modes of transportation, if and whenever possible. One less car on the road makes the road that much safer for everyone.
11. If you must drive your children to school, let kids off away from traffic, usually that is the passenger side of the vehicle.
12. Walk a block. To help avoid vehicle congestion in the immediate vicinity of the school, consider parking a short distance away, and walk your kids the rest of the way.
“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. Let’s all do our part to keep kids safe this back-to-school season,” Smith reminds drivers.