Back-to-school safety: Lessons for drivers, parents and students

    THORNHILL, ON, Sept. 3 /CNW/ - It's back to school and that means more
than 25,000 school safety patrollers outfitted in lime green vests will be
back at their posts across school zones everywhere. Aged 10 to 14, these
champions of safety will help thousands of fellow students stay safe along
crosswalks and as they board and disembark their school buses.
    "Take a child's small size and quick movements, add some common obstacles
like bushes or parked cars, mix in a distracted driver and you've got a
possible recipe for disaster," said Leslie Rocha, School Safety Patrol program
specialist. "Driving where children walk, bicycle and get in and out of buses
or cars requires the same skills as being a good student - you have to pay
    Here are a few lessons for parents, drivers and students on
back-to-school traffic safety:

    For parents and caregivers:

    -   If you drive children to school, properly restrain all children under
        12 in the back seat of your vehicle.
    -   Avoid parking on the opposite side of the street from the school.
        Make sure your children exit and enter on the curbside of the
    -   Avoid blocking buses or making illegal U-turns in school zones.
    -   Help your children choose the safest walking route to school. Look
        for routes with controlled intersections, the lowest traffic volume
        and the fewest streets to cross.
    -   Review pedestrian safety rules with your children. This is especially
        important for young children venturing into traffic for the first

    For drivers:

    -   Obey the reduced speed limits posted in school zones.
    -   Stop for all school buses that are loading and unloading students -
        no matter the time of day. It's the law in Ontario. Don't proceed
        until the stop sign arm is raised and the lights stop flashing.
    -   Before backing out of the driveway, take a few extra seconds to look
        for students walking to school on the sidewalk.
    -   Watch for children riding bicycles or scooters to and from school.
    -   Watch for "invisible" children by using a technique called ground
        viewing. Keep your eyes searching low around parked vehicles on the
        road looking for little feet, bike wheels, toys or moving shadows. It
        could be the only warning you get before a child dashes into your

    For students:

    -   Listen to the direction provided by adult crossing guards and school
        safety patrollers - they have your safety in mind.
    -   Obey all traffic signs and signals.
    -   Look left, right and left again before crossing the street and check
        over your shoulder for cars turning.
    -   Cross the road only where there are crosswalks, not diagonally or
        between parked cars. Whenever possible, cross at intersections with
        stop signs, traffic signals or student and adult crossing guards.
    -   When you get off the bus, stay in the driver's sight range. If you
        drop something near the bus, let the bus driver or bus patroller know
        before you try to pick it up.

    For more information about CAA South Central Ontario, visit CAA South Central Ontario is a not-for-profit auto club
offering insurance, travel and roadside services. There are more than 1.8
million CAA members in Ontario and 5 million members in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Edyta Zdancewicz, Media and PR
Specialist, 60 Commerce Valley Drive East, Thornhill, ON, L3T 7P9,, Office: (905) 771-3194, Cell: (416) 209-4930

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