With school back in session next week, drivers need to remember to be extra alert on the roads and obey the speed limits. Times file photo

Back to school safe driving tips

Drivers reminded to be on extra alert and obey speed limits in school zones

As summer comes to an end, kids are walking, cycling or being dropped off at school. With school about to begin in the rear view mirror, it’s time for Trail drivers to gear up for back to school safety.

To help with the transition, Ford of Canada checked in with the RCMP and Public Safety Canada to provide the following safety tips and reminders to help everyone stay safe on the road this school year.

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

Slow down! Children crossing the road on their way to and from school can easily get distracted and step into harm’s way. Children are often out throughout the day at recess, lunch, and for outdoor activities, so it’s important to drive slowly throughout the entire day.

That text can wait! Drivers need to be vigilant and alert behind the wheel. Your fast reflexes could prevent an accident. Ford Motor Company estimates that sending a single text would take a driver’s eye off the road for 10 seconds. For a driver travelling 100 km /hr they’ll travel the equivalent of 28 metres or 12 tennis courts.

Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn – you could force pedestrians to go around you; putting them in the path of moving traffic.

Take extra care to look out for children near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas

Sharing the Road with School Buses

Alternating flashing yellow or amber lights means a bus is slowing down to stop – you should do the same. A school bus with red lights flashing is stopped. The fine for passing a school bus with its red lights flashing will net you a hefty fine and six demerit points.

If you are following behind a bus, stay back further than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop if the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. The area 3 meters around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.

Must Knows for Kids:

Before crossing the road: POINT across the road to show drivers you want to cross; PAUSE until the cars stop and you make eye contact with the drivers; PROCEED with your arm extended after all cars in all the lanes have stopped.

Distracted pedestrians are a higher risk so do not use electronics while walking.

Ride legally – No helmet! No bike! Children under the age of 18 must always wear a helmet when riding a bike.

The Do’s &Don’ts of Dropping Off

Most schools have very specific drop-off procedures and it’s your job to make sure you know them. Wherever you live, these rules apply in all school zones:

Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles

Don’t load or unload children across the street from the school

Don’t idle vehicles for air quality concerns

Do try to carpool to reduce traffic

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