There are over two million students commuting to schools every day in Ontario.
We all need to ensure the neighbourhoods around our community schools are as safe as possible.
School Zone Safety Tips for Parents.
Walking to school.
Students who walk to school often have to deal with traffic, weather conditions and other distractions along the way. Teach your children the proper safety rules for walking to school by:
- Having them buddy up with a sibling, friend or designated older student to ensure that they get to school safely and on time.
- Showing them the safest routes to take and discouraging "short cuts" or other deviations from the route.
- Keeping their electronics stashed in their backpacks. Electronics can be distractions that can make them late for school or unable to hear cars and bikes on their route.
Riding bicycles to school.
Biking is great exercise for children of all ages, but remember that bikes are considered vehicles, too. Teach your children proper bike safety on the route to school by:
- Having them wear the right equipment, including a properly fitted bike helmet.
- Instructing them on how to maintain their bicycles so that mechanical issues don't slow them down.
- Showing them the right routes and going on a test ride to ensure they know the way.
- Educating them on the rules of the road to make sure they stay safe.
For more cycling safety tips, check out our Watch for Bikes program.
Driving your child to school.
Pedestrian safety begins with drivers.
You're a role model for your children through your actions, so let's work together to make our school zones a safe experience for all of us. Be cautious and avoid:
- Double parking or stopping on crosswalks; which can block pedestrians' visibility.
- Stopping on the opposite side of the street, requiring children to cross through traffic.
- Stopping in moving traffic, requiring children to rush out.
- Driving up alongside or blocking a school bus to keep children from missing it.
Suggestions to help maximize safety:
- Form a carpool to reduce the number of cars in school zones
- Work with school officials to designate specific car pick-up/drop-off locations and staggered times for walkers and riders
- Comply with the speed limit in school zones
- When you see a stopped school bus with flashing red lights, you must stop, regardless of the direction you're travelling*
- Don't move until the red lights stop flashing and the bus begins to move, or risk a fine and losing demerit points.
* The only exception is on roads separated by a median. The traffic coming from the opposite direction is not required to stop.
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