Start Of School Year Brings Safety Reminder



    Drivers Slow Down In School Zones And Watch For Red Flashing Lights On
    School Buses

    QUEEN'S PARK, Sept. 3 /CNW/ - The start of a new school year is a good
time to remind drivers to obey the rules of the road in school zones and
around school buses. Parents can help keep their children safe by reminding
them of the importance of school zone safety.
    "Whether it's how to safely cross the street or getting on and off a
school bus, talking to children about safety tips should be part of
back-to-school preparations," said Cansfield. "It's also a good time for
motorists to remember to be extra cautious around school zones and school
buses, and to ensure that all child passengers are buckled up in an
appropriate child car safety seat."
    There are a few simple rules that can help keep children safe when
getting off the school bus:

    
      -  Use 10 giant steps as a guide to take you away from the front of the
         bus
      -  Be sure you can see the bus driver and that the bus driver sees you
      -  Watch for the bus driver's signal that it is safe to cross
      -  Look and listen both ways for cars to be sure it is safe before you
         cross
      -  If you drop anything in front of the school bus, leave it - never
         stop to pick it up
      -  Walk - never run - across the street.

    The McGuinty government has introduced several safety measures to help
keep children and youth safe:

      -  Drivers must ensure infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers and primary
         grade age children are secured properly in an appropriate child car
         safety seat or booster seat - failing to do so could result in two
         demerit points and a $110 fine.
      -  Vehicle owners, not just drivers, can be charged if their vehicle
         illegally passes a stopped school bus with its overhead red lights
         flashing - the penalty is up to a $2,000 fine.
      -  Effective January 2008, all school buses must have crossing arms to
         keep children out of the bus driver's blind spot in front of the
         bus, added emergency exit windows and better side mirrors to improve
         the driver's line of sight.
    

    "All drivers should re-familiarize themselves with safety tips when
dropping children at school, and sharing the road with school buses and
children," added Sarah Huizing, CAA Traffic Safety Specialist of the Canadian
Automobile Association.
    "Our government is committed to keeping children safe - we've improved
school bus safety and we've introduced legislation making it mandatory for
parents and caregivers to make sure children are secured properly in an
appropriate safety seat or booster seat." concluded Cansfield.
    For more information on road safety, including new legislation regarding
child car safety seats and school bus safety, log on to the MTO website at
www.mto.gov.on.ca.

    
    Disponible en français

                              www.mto.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Bob Nichols, Communications
Branch, (416) 327-1158; Public Inquiries: (416) 235-4686 (GTA), 1-800-268-4686
toll free, 1-866-471-8929 TTY

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Ontario Ministry of Transportation

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