People tend to associate the month of September with one thing. School is BACK! The transition from the laid-back summertime lifestyle to the hustle and bustle of back to school is perhaps most noticeable on the roads. School buses are everywhere in the mornings and afternoons, parents are dropping off and picking up their kids, and crossing guards can be seen rain or shine. With so much going on, there’s a need to be vigilant and extra careful when behind the wheel. Here a few tips to consider now that class is in session:
School buses are big and yellow for a reason. Make sure you stop when the lights are flashing. Patience is a virtue, especially when waiting for kids to get on or off the bus. Too often, impatient drivers race pass the stopped bus or through the intersection unaware that children are crossing the road. With more than 800,000 children riding the bus to school in Ontario every day, you can keep them safe by being patient and allowing them to safely cross the road or board/disembark the bus.
When driving through a school zone, respecting the published speed limit is critical. Children can unexpectedly run into the street while chasing their soccer ball or after seeing their friend across the road. Driving slower will allow you more reaction time to stop in the event that something like that happens. It’s better to be safe than sorry, no matter how much of a rush you’re in.
Crossing guards have been around since the 1920s, stopping traffic to keep children safe while they cross the street. Kids will put their entire trust in the crossing guard that the street is safe to cross. By not obeying the crossing guard’s instructions to stop, you put the lives of everyone crossing at risk.
One of the most important safety tips for driving, regardless of whether you’re in a school zone or not, is don’t drive distracted. Put away your cell phones! A quick glance at a text could be disastrous, risking injury and death to pedestrians and a trip to court. Technology is great to stay connected and up-to date, but avoid the temptation to use it when you’re behind the wheel.
The lesson to be learned from all of this is being patient. Remember, accidents often come with lawsuits, insurance claims, and injuries. Waiting 30 seconds for a bus to stop and pick up schoolchildren or slowing down in a school zone can be the difference between a safe commute and getting a free ride to jail. MG Law urges you to be safe now that school is back by following these simple tips. Although they may seem like common sense, they will ensure you and everyone commuting will be safe on the roads this school year.
If you’ve been injured in a car or pedestrian accident, do not hesitate to visit our website or call us at 613-730-8460. We’re ready to help.