Lambton County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers will be doing their part next week and throughout the school year to ensure back to school time is safe for everyone.
“It is always a busy time for kids, parents, teachers and commuters” says Lambton County OPP Detachment Commander Inspector Scott Janssens. “Sometimes the children get excited and forget to watch for vehicles so as drivers we will have to be extra vigilant. Parents should be proactive and take the time to talk about safety with their kids before they head back to school,” adds Inspector Janssens.
The following are some basic safety items you should review with children.
If you are under the age of 18 and are riding a bicycle, you are required by law to wear a properly fitted and fastened bike helmet. Cyclists must obey the same rules of the roadway that other vehicles do. Remind children to keep their eyes and ears open as sometimes vehicle drivers don’t see children on bicycles.
Pedestrians should use sidewalks where possible and where there are none, walk as far off onto the shoulder of the roadway as possible facing traffic. Both pedestrians and cyclists should make use of the crossing guards and cross walks to get safely across the streets.
When motorists see a school bus stopped on the roadway with its red lights activated and “Stop” sign out, they must come to a complete stop in-front of and /or behind the bus. Motorists must not pass the stopped bus until the stop arm is retracted and the red lights are turned off. The fine for passing a school bus is $490. Liability to failing to stop for a school bus rests on the owner of the vehicle.
Motorists must also slow down in School Safety Zones and be prepared to stop for crossing guards. Leave more time for your drive to work as you may encounter school buses along your route.