How To Drive Safely for this Back-To-School Season
Back-to-school means more drivers and pedestrians on the road, parents hurrying to drop their kids off at school, and young pedestrians who may be unpredictable.
Car insurance and school zones
With millions of students commuting to school, obeying school zone safety laws is essential and breaking the rules can have major consequences. Driving infractions that occur in school zones can get you fined and may increase your car insurance rates.
School zone violations can be considered major convictions. Common infractions include:
- Improperly passing a school bus
- Speeding in a school or playground zone
- Not stopping for a school crossing stop sign
- Not stopping for a school bus
Back-to-school safety tips for drivers
Keep students safe on their way to and from school by paying attention and obeying traffic laws in school and playground zones.
When you are dropping your kids off:
- Drop them off on the same side of the street the school is on.
- Carpool to reduce the number of cars.
- Do not double park to avoid blocking visibility for drivers and children.
How to share the road with school buses:
- Do not pass a stopped school bus from behind. If the road is undivided, do not pass a bus from either direction.
- If the stop arm is extended or red or yellow lights are flashing, you must stop for a school bus.
- Stop at least 10 feet (about 3 metres) from a school bus.
Watch for cyclists:
- Pass cyclists slowly, leaving three feet of space between your car and them.
- Wait for cyclists to pass before turning left. Always signal when turning.
- Watch for cyclists turning in front of you without signaling.
- When turning right, check for cyclists behind you and let them go first.
- Watch for bikes and pedestrians exiting driveways or coming from in between parked cars.
- Check your mirrors before opening your car door.
When driving through a school or playground zone:
- Do not block crosswalks when stopping or turning.
- Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Stop for crossing guards.
- Do not pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
- Drive proactively to avoid hitting a pedestrian, no matter who has the right of way.
- Watch out for children near schools, playgrounds, and in residential areas.
- Do not honk or rev your engine at pedestrians.
Back-to-school safety tips for students
Teach kids to walk to school safely. Even if they take the bus or get dropped off, they should know how to be safe in a school or playground zone.
- Kids should walk to school with an adult until they are at least 10 years old.
- They should not use their phones or listen to music when walking to school.
- Teach kids safe routes for getting to school.
- Encourage them to wear light or bright clothing so they are visible to drivers.
- Teach kids to use crosswalks, look left, right, and then left again, and make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
- Teach kids not to cross between parked cars or behind buses.
- Children should walk on sidewalks.