Back to School Travel Safety Tips

Student getting off a bus

It is hard to believe that our students will soon be starting their new school year! Here are some safety reminders, especially as everyone gets accustomed to travelling to and from school.

Driver Safety Tips

  • Be alert - Children can sometimes be unpredictable by ignoring hazards and taking risks
  • Be patient – students and families are learning new school neighborhoods and new routines
  • Be prepared – there will be more traffic in school zones, especially during start and ends times, allow extra travel time
  • Don’t block crosswalks
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and take extra care in school zones
  • Follow the directions of crossing guards
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
  • Never pass a bus loading or unloading children
  • To ensure you have adequate stopping time, follow school buses at a greater distance than you would a car
  • If a bus is stopped with its red lights flashing and its stop arm extended, traffic must stop in both directions (on an undivided road)

Pedestrian Safety Tips

  • Walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk and you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic
  • Before crossing the street, stop and look left, right and left again to see if cars are coming
  • Never dart out in front of a parked car
  • Never walk while texting or talking on the phone
  • Do not walk while using headphones
  • Parents can also help by:
  • Practice walking to school with your child
  • Finding a safe route for them to walk to school
  • Cross streets at crosswalks when available

Bike Rider Safety Reminders

  • Always wear a helmet that is fitted and secured properly
  • Check your equipment – ensure tires are inflated and brakes work
  • Choose the safest route to school – look for streets with minimal traffic, lower speeds, paths or bike lanes, limit the number of street crossings and avoid busy or high speed streets and crossings
  • Children need to know the rules of the road: Ride single file on the right side of the road, come to a complete stop before crossing the street and walk the bike across
  • Watch for opening car doors and other hazards
  • Use hand signals when turning
  • Wear bright-colored clothing

As we start the school year, please be alert, patient and prepared for busy back to school commuting. Let’s make it a safe year!