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A Back to School Message From FDTLaw

It’s almost back to school season and school days bring congestion. Children are walking to and from school, kids are on their bikes hurrying to class and buses are picking up their passengers.

The Canadian Safety Council has some excellent safety tips to share with children to ensure safe travel:

Getting to and on the school bus:

1. Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled pick up time. Children should never run after the school bus to try to catch it. If you miss the bus, go back home or if you are at school, report to a teacher.

2. Stay on the sidewalk, well away from the roadway and stay back until the bus has come to a full stop and the door opens.

3. If your child needs to cross the street, teach them to look to the left, then to the right, and to the left once more before crossing the street.

4. Use the handrail when boarding or exiting the bus.

Travel by Car

Parents and guardians must respect their child’s school safety measures for dropping off and picking up their children at school. Every effort must be made to avoid collision and injury by refraining to create hazardous situations of traffic congestion and unsafe driving practices within the school zone. Respect posted speed limits, and designated drop-off and pick-up areas.

Travel by Bicycle

To ride a bicycle to and from school, children must be mature enough (minimum 9 – 12 years old), and must have enough experience. The rider should be able to scan ahead and check behind without swerving.

  • Wear a properly-fitted helmet, and have clothes that are suited for cycling (e.g. their pants tucked in).
  • Have their bikes fitted properly and in good working order. The bike should have a regular maintenance check-up and should have a bell. It is also a good idea to have a safety flag.
  • Know and obey all traffic rules, signs and signals. They must signal turns and stops. Ride in a straight line in the same direction as traffic and stop at every stop sign.
  • Be predictable to other road users by riding with the traffic usually on the right hand side of the roadway.
  • Never ride in the dark. If an older child must ride in the dark, make sure that reflective clothing and night-accessories (e.g. reflectors and lights) are used.

Walking to school

Many children use roadways to make their way to and from school. Parents and guardians must review road safety rules with their children and the importance of not accepting rides or any invitations from strangers. It is best to walk with a buddy and keep focused on getting straight home.

  • Find a safe and direct route to school with the help of their parents.
  • Hazards should be identified (train tracks, busy intersections, etc.) and a designated route with safety rules should be established.
  • Stay on sidewalks whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk, use the left side of the road facing traffic.
  • Cross streets only at crosswalks and learn to look to the left, the right and then left again before proceeding, even at intersections with pedestrian walk signs.
  • Wait until traffic comes to a stop before crossing. Make sure drivers see you before you cross.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact us online for a free legal consultation or call 1-800-563-6348 to speak directly with one of our lawyers.

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