The first day of school is September 6th, so it is time that we
turn our minds to our responsibility to children, as parents and
motor vehicle drivers. Rules of the road are necessary in order to
keep our children safe. Improper driving in a school zone could
result in serious injuries, not to mention significant fines and
could increase your insurance premiums. Passing a school bus
improperly, failing to obey school crossing signs, speeding in
school zones to name just a few, are all major offences and can
easily be avoided by using common sense and driving carefully
within the law.
Here are some important safely tips to remember when driving
around school property:
1. Always stopfor aschool bus
when its lights are flashing. Children can be excited
and energetic when going to, or getting off the bus. They might run
to or from the school bus and across the road. When approaching a
school bus, ensure that you stop well behind it and well in front
of it when coming towards it, when its lights are flashing and its
stop arm is out.
2. Observe the appropriate speed limits. While
the speed limits may seem low, when children run out into the road
way, the slower speed will give you more time to react and stop to
avoid an accident.
3. Obey the crossing guard at all times.
Crossing guards are responsible to help children cross the roadway
safely. Children rely on the crossing guard to tell them when it is
safe to cross and disregarding the crossing guard can put the
children in peril as they may not be observing the traffic.
4. Do not pass other vehicles in a school zone.
Passing almost always involves traveling faster than the posted
school speed limit, and lowers your reaction time. Children do not
expect cars to pass in the area and in fact it is prohibited. You
should also not perform U-turns or three point turns. Avoid driving
in reverse because any unpredictable movements can catch children
5. Respect "No parking" and "No
stopping" zones in order to avoid any unnecessary
traffic jams which often lead to frustration and dangerous driving
action. If possible, avoid driving into the school parking lot or
where school buses pick up and drop off the children.
6. Teach your children the rules of traffic safety and
school bus rules. Teaching your children about these rules
will reduce the likelihood that your children will dart out into
traffic, or disobey the traffic crossing guards or the school bus
drivers that are there to protect them. Be a good role model for
your children by following the same rules you expect them to
7. Children are unpredictable and can dart into traffic
at any time. This goes as well for teenagers. As a driver,
you are responsible to have control of your vehicle at all times.
By observing the rules and driving slower, you will be better able
to react and avoid an accident.
Accidents can be avoided. Accidents can cause your insurance
rates to go up significantly. If you are sued you could be exposed
to personal liability. Even if you are not at fault for an
accident, there are untold emotional consequences to you. Slow down
and be careful this school year.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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