Back to School Driving Safety
Starting tomorrow morning, yellow school buses are back on the road, and kids are walking, cycling or being dropped off at school. With summer now in the rear-view mirror, it’s time for Fort McMurray – and area – drivers to gear up for back to school safety.
To help with the transition, Ford of Canada checked in with Alberta Transportation and the RCMP 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.
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.
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. 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.
“It is important to have these tips top-of-mind as we transition out of summer,” said Tilly Fayad, Executive Team Lead, NorthStar Ford. “We are looking forward to a successful and safe school year ahead.”
Sources: Alberta Transportation, RCMP