As the new school year approaches, the Canada Safety Council is reminding motorists to be extra cautious as school buses return to the roads in September.
Despite it being an annual occurrence, the return of school buses often brings about episodes of impatience, confusion regarding some of the rules of the road, and unfortunately, a spike in fatalities and injuries amongst young pedestrians from September to November.
The Canada Safety Council is offering drivers several tips for sharing the roads with school buses:
- when a bus has its arm extended and flashing lights, you must stop. Do not proceed until the lights are turned off;
- slow down in school zones and be extra vigilant;
- avoid three-point-turns or U-turns in school zones
- leave yourself a bit of extra time to get wherever you’re going. Being in a rush is no excuse for disobeying the rules of the road;
- always obey crossing guards and signage;
- and give cyclists a wide berth. Many jurisdictions require a minimum distance of one metre.
As well, parents driving their children to school, specifically, are reminded never to allow your child to exit the vehicle when they’ll be getting off into traffic. Make sure they’re stepping out onto a sidewalk or away from the flow of traffic. Parents may consider driving a block or so away from the school and walking with your child, in order to reduce congestion around the school area.
The Canada Safety Council extends its wishes to families for a happy fall season and an incident-free return to school.