Local schools are opening up again on Tuesday, September 7 and students will be heading back for the first time since February. Remember to watch for students as they travel to and from school.
IF YOU ARE A DRIVER:
Watch your speed!
Remember to plan extra travel time before and after school, be patient, and don’t be distracted.
Motorists should slow down near schools and watch for school zone speed limit signs.
Many collisions happen at dusk and dawn. Pay particular attention to pedestrians and students at those times. As a helpful reminder, always make eye contact with children wanting to cross the road and wait for them to get completely across before proceeding.
Remember school bus safety!
If you see red flashing lights and an extended stop arm on a school bus, it means students may be stepping onto the roadway. Never pass a school bus if it is stopped with its red lights flashing and its stop arm is extended. School buses may stop anywhere, and drivers should be ready to stop at any time when travelling behind one.
On roads that don’t have a median, drivers travelling in both directions must stop for a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing and stop arm extended. If you stop while facing a bus, stop at a safe distance from the front of the bus to let students cross the road. On roads that have a median, only traffic approaching the bus from behind must stop.
When stopped for a school bus, don’t move forward until the red lights have stopped flashing or the bus begins to move
Under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA), drivers can be charged for failing stop for a bus with its upper red lights flashing and stop arm extended. The fines include:
- First offence: $400 to $2,000 fine and six demerit points
- Each following offence: $1,000 to $4,000 fine, six demerit points and possible incarceration
Obey crossing guards!
There will be crossing guards at locations across the city each morning and afternoon to help students safely cross the road. Remember to stop and yield the entire roadway when a crossing guard is present and displaying their stop sign. Drivers and cyclists may only proceed when pedestrians and school crossing guards have safely reached the sidewalk.
IF YOU ARE A PARENT OR STUDENT:
Here’s how you can make your travel to school as safe as possible.
Walk to school safely!
Always walk on sidewalks if available and cross at intersections. Before crossing, remember to:
- Stop before stepping into road
- Increase your visibility and indicate you want to cross
- Look in all directions and listen for traffic
- Cross only when the road is clear
- Walk directly across road – do not run or cycle
- Use a buddy system, if possible
- If you are crossing at an intersection with signals, wait for the pedestrian walk signal before crossing.
If you’re riding your bike to school, learn about cycling safely and sharing the road responsibly.
Pedestrian Crossovers (PXOs) allow pedestrians to safely cross the road. All vehicles must yield to pedestrians when crossing. PXOs are identified by specific signs and pavement markings. In some cases, but not always, they may also have pedestrian activated flashing lights.
It is everyone’s responsibility to understand and follow the rules at pedestrian crossovers. Pedestrians and cyclists walking their bikes should:
- Wait for traffic to stop
- Make eye contact to ensure drivers see you
- Walk across the road
Drivers and cyclists on the road should:
- Be prepared to stop for pedestrians
- Stop behind the yield line
- Make eye contact to ensure pedestrians see you
- Wait until pedestrians completely cross before proceeding