Thursday, August 24, 2017

Back to school: keeping everyone safe on our roads

It’s back to school time!

As school doors open, traffic gets a little heavier on our streets. People are back from holidays, school buses and public transit are on regular routes, and more people are walking, cycling or driving to school.

To help with the transition and share the roads safely, read our safety tips. Help everyone stay safe this school year.

1) Observe Playground Zone speeds
Playground zones warn motorists to take extra caution and reduce speed when driving near playgrounds or schools. Remember that the maximum permitted speed in Playground Zones is 30 km/h. The zones are in effect from 7:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. every day of the year. Children do not perceive traffic like adults do – extra caution is needed.

It is illegal to pass another vehicle within Playground Zones during zone hours. Drive carefully and watch for children.

2) Watch for darting children
Kids are small and easily distracted, and this can create dangerous situations on the roads. Be vigilant and alert behind the wheel. You never know when a small child might step out from between parked cars or off a sidewalk.

3) School buses
Make sure children wait at a safe location, well away from the road and stay back until the school bus makes a full stop and the doors open. Explain that they should cross the road at an intersection in a crosswalk, and show them how to cross safely. As parents or caregivers, consider parking on the same side of the road that the child is being dropped off on so the child isn’t tempted to cross mid-block.

When driving your car near a school bus extra caution is needed; reducing your speed is recommended. If a school bus is stopped with its lights on then you can expect to see children.

4) Travel by car
Parents and guardians should respect their child’s school safety measures for dropping off and picking up their children at school. Every effort must be made to avoid collision and injury by refraining from creating hazardous situations of traffic congestion and unsafe driving practices within the school zone. Respect posted speed limits, and designated drop-off and pick-up areas. If possible park along the same side of the road so your child doesn’t have to cross the road – even if it is a longer walk.  Double parking, parking in crosswalks, parking within five metres of a crosswalk, backing into crosswalks, and not crossing at a crosswalk all create hazards and that is why they are prohibited by law.

5) Travel by bicycle
To ride a bicycle to and from school, without supervision, children must be mature enough (minimum 9 – 12 years old), and must have enough experience to interact with traffic safely. The rider should be able to scan ahead and check behind without swerving and know the rules of the road. See our bikeways and pathways map to plan your cycling route.

6) Walking to school
Many children walk to and from school. Parents and guardians must review road safety rules, as well as crosswalk safety with their children, and preferably walk the route with the children a few times to test their knowledge.

7) CTrain safety

Around our stations
If you’re walking to one of our CTrain stations, make sure to look both ways for trains when crossing the tracks and, most importantly, obey all traffic signals. Motorists should also be aware of flashing lights and crossing arms when CTrains are passing through and not proceed until all lights and bells are off.

Waiting for the train

While waiting on the platform for the CTrain, please ensure you stand and remain behind the yellow line until the train has fully stopped. Never put any objects or limbs in the closing doors. Wait for fellow transit users to exit the train before get on and be courteous to others who may need more time to exit or enter the train.

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