Where has the summer gone? Bells are ringing and school is back in session!
However, as September brings cooler weather and exciting changes, it also means an increase in children and youth on City streets and sidewalks. Many children will be returning to school and many will be bussing, walking and riding their bikes to their destinations. In an effort to ensure that our children remain safe in, out, and around their ways to school, please consider the following safety tips:
- Reduce speeds in school zones and be ready to stop at any time. Children do not always notice oncoming traffic;
- Obey school bus signals. Vehicle owners can be fined from $400 – $2,000 and 6 demerit points, if their vehicle illegally passes a stopped school bus;
- Watch for pedestrian crossovers, know how they work and obey them when in use;
- Avoid letting children walk to or from school alone. Talk to your neighbours – there may be another child who needs a buddy to walk with.
- Children often have a hard time understanding that traffic can come from several different directions at intersections. A child needs to be shown – not just told – how to cross a road safely. Do it together and teach them about the importance of road safety.
- Remind youth that if waiting for a bus or walking to school, to never get in a car with a stranger, even if they offer a ride or ask for their help. Tell your kids that adults should only ask other adults for help, not children, and teach them to trust their instincts and get help when needed.
- Walk on available sidewalks;
- Keep your eyes open for pedestrians! Slow down, drive carefully and watch for pedestrians or cyclists;
- Always cross at intersections, looking and listening for traffic and walk across only when road is clear and safe to do so;
- Follow adult crossing guards, student crossing patrols and school bus operator’s signals; and,
- Always wear a helmet when riding a bike and walk your bike across a roadway.
September is School Bus/School Zone safety and Vehicle Occupant Restraint awareness month with the Safer Roads Ottawa Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP).
I would like to wish all residents have a safe and exciting return back to school this autumn. Stay safe and learn often!