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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year….sort of!

Parents, the extended March Break your children have enjoyed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic is coming to a close as Ontario schools prepare to re-open and begin a new school year on September 8th. While classroom numbers have decreased, children will still be walking, biking, and busing to and from school once again. Now is a good time to remind the children in your life to be mindful of their surroundings as they go to and from school.

Thankfully, The Canadian Safety Council  outlines a number of safety tips to share with the children in to ensure safe travel.

Travel to and on the bus

  1. Arrive at the bus stop about five minutes before the pickup 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. Use the sidewalk, and keep well away from the roadway. 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. The rider should also:

  • Wear a properly-fitted helmet,
  • Wear clothes suited for cycling,
  • Have their bikes fitted properly and in good working order,
  • Regularly maintain and repair their bike, should have a bell,
  • 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.

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. 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.

With COVID-19 in mind, it may be important to have a conversation with your children about who they walk to school with and explain the need to maintain a safe physical distancing with their walking buddy.

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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