As we head into the Labour Day long weekend, the buzz of back to school is in the air at my house. The kids are itching to see friends, and I am nothing short of giddy to be getting back to routine.
Once the backpacks are filled and the all important first day wardrobe selections are made, it’s time to talk about bigger things like road safety. Here are just a few reminders for drivers and our young pedestrians to help us all move into the new school year with ease.
Everyone needs to do their part to keep the roads safe and as a pedestrian you have a few tasks too.
- Use the crosswalk. Aside from the fines that go as high as $700 for jaywalking in some provinces. Your safety is job one on the way to school. It can be difficult for drivers to see you between parked cars, and in the early morning hours as the days get shorter, so stick to the designated areas.
- Obey the crossing guards. They are a big help keeping everybody visible, but they can only keep you safe if you follow their instruction.
- Make eye contact with the driver. When you are not clear if the driver knows you are ready to cross, making eye contact is a great way to be sure before you step off the curb. And, if you are crossing a multi-lane road, be sure to navigate one lane at a time and make sure all drivers see you coming before moving forward.
- Watch out for the little guys. It’s important for little pedestrians to know the rules of the road too, but if you’re an older, wiser student, don’t hesitate to help out your younger community members – after all they are even harder to see. Crossing with them or helping them navigate to bus stops are easy ways to lend a hand.
It goes without saying that it’s not just up to the pedestrians to make back to school road safety work.
- School zones are in effect. While some cities like Calgary have turned school zones into year round playground zones, others are just starting to come into effect again. Be mindful and slow down!
- Double parking is for dummies. School drop off is chaotic enough, double parking for even a minute while dropping your kids off is not okay. Ever. You know who you are. Making cars move around you with limited visibility, school buses, and kids everywhere is a sure recipe for disaster.
- Make eye contact. Yes, this applies to you too. Help pedestrians know that you see them and it’s safe to cross.
- Watch for school bus signals. Never pass a school bus with its stop sign out or the red overhead lights flashing. It only takes a few moments for kids to get off the bus or cross the road so have patience. Plus, you could be fined and earn demerit points for not following this simple rule.
- Get out early. Believe me I know it’s easier said than done, but getting out the door even five minutes earlier can ease the stress of your commute and eliminate the need to rush, keeping everyone safe.
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Everyday Insurance With Allie
Working mom, lover of the great outdoors and self-professed know-it-all. Our resident blogger, Allie isn’t the insurance guru she claims to be – but she’s learning and we are happy to help guide her. All the while keeping you in the loop on the “insurancey” stuff you need to know. #AskAllie