It’s that time again: back to school. It’s the time of year when parents are more stressed than the Christmas season, ensuring they have everything on their children’s school supply lists and trying to do it all in the last few days of summer. Not to mention most kids are either incredibly excited to get back to school to see their friends or they’re down in the dumps because they hate homework. Either way, few people are thinking about road safety so we’ve compiled a list of things to watch out for during the back to school season.
- Know the speed limits in school zones – most Canadian municipalities have implemented a 30km speed limit in school zones. Depending what province or city you are in, the speed limit rules will vary. Some school zones will only be in place during hours when students are in school. For example, most school zones are in effect only from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. On the other hand, some school zones are in effect only Monday through Friday from 7:00am – 9:00am, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, and 3:00pm – 5:00pm. Overall, it’s important to know the school zone laws in your town.
- Know the drop-off zones – schools will have different rules about dropping your kids off at school and picking them up. Most schools have designated bus drop-off and pick-up zones and parent drop-off and pick-up zones. Never block the bus zones with your vehicle. It is also safer to ensure that your children exit from the right-hand side of the vehicle directly onto the side walk instead of into the street.
- Watch for pedestrians – kids and parents are excited and anxious on the first few days of school so traffic safety is often not the first thing on their minds. Make sure to drive slowly and use extra caution when driving through school zones.
- Watch for cars – if you are walking your child into the school, make sure that you use proper crosswalks and never cross the street in front of a vehicle parked on the side of the street. Always make sure that you’re visible to the vehicles on the road.
- Look for school buses – make sure to never pass a school bus when it is pulled off to the side, in case a child crosses the street in front of it. You should also always stop 10 feet behind a bus when it is stopped and its arm and stop sign are out.
- Be mindful of bicyclists – share the road with bicyclists by passing them only when there is no on-coming traffic and always keep three feet between you and the bicyclist. When turning right, always let the bicyclist beside you have the right-of-way and always check your side mirrors when making a turn to ensure no bicyclist is around you.
As long as we all stay aware during the busy back to school season, we’ll all stay safe! And remember if you ever need any vehicle or tire repair to come to Integra Tire!