With school starting up, Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Services encourage families to go over the following checklist to ensure everyone has a safe year...
FOR PARENTS & KIDS...
1. Plan a walking route to school or the bus stop: Choose the most direct route with the fewest street crossings and if possible, with intersections that have crossing guards.
2. Walk the route with your child beforehand: Tell him or her to stay away from parks, vacant lots and other places where there aren’t that many people around.
3. Practice, practice, practice: Kids needs to be shown, not just told, how to cross the road safely. Start practicing now how to cross the road safely.
4. Arrange for your child to have walking buddies: If possible, don’t let kids walk to school alone. Remember, at any age it’s always safer to walk with a buddy. Plan to have your child walk to school with a sibling, friend or neighbour.
5. Teach your child never to talk to strangers: Tell your children to never accept rides or gifts from strangers. Remind them that adults should only ask other adults for help, not children.
6. If your child bikes to school, make sure he or she has a helmet that meets safety standards and is fitted and secured correctly. By law, every cyclist must wear an approved helmet if they are under 18 years old.
7. NOTE: The New Active Transportation By Law states that anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet when skateboarding, in-line skating or roller skating.
8. When driving kids, always deliver/pick them up as close to the school as possible. Don’t drive away until they are in the schoolyard or in the building.
9. Teach your children to arrive at the bus stop early, stay out of the street, wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching the street and to watch for cars.
10. Tell your child not to bend down in front of the bus to tie their shoes or pick up objects. The driver of the bus may not be able to see them.
11. Remind your children to stay seated on the bus at all times and to keep their heads and arms inside the bus when riding.
12. Do not pass a stopped school bus: Vehicle owners can be charged if their vehicle illegally passes a stopped school bus. Fines range from $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points. Each subsequent offence: $1,000 to $4,000, six demerit points and possible jail time up to six months.
13. Drivers must always stop for the bus: Whether on a city street, highway or county road, and regardless of the speed limit and the number of lanes, motorists travelling in both directions must stop when approaching a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing. (The only exception: on highways separated by a median, traffic coming from the opposite direction is not required to stop).
14. Once all passengers have boarded, the STOP arm will fold away. Do not start moving until the red lights have stopped flashing and the bus begins to move.
15. Be aware of school zone signs and reduce your speed in school zones. Always try and make eye contact with children waiting to cross the road.
16. Be patient and wait for children to complete their crossing before proceeding.
17. Stop when directed to do so by a crossing guard.
18. Always slow down at school drop off and pick up zones.
19. Always follow the rules provided by your school with respect to drop off and pick up.
[tips via peterboroughpolice.com]