Drivers need to readjust summer driving habits for start of school year says OPP

Aug 31, 2012

ORILLIA, ON, Aug. 31, 2012 /CNW/ - With summer winding down and a new school year getting underway, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reminding drivers to get reacquainted with sharing the road safely with school buses and the more than 800,000 Ontario school kids who will be crossing roads, getting on and off school buses and walking and biking to and from school. 

All too often, drivers let their guard down in school zones during the summer months and with kids heading back to school, and it is important that drivers maintain an acute sense of awareness and expect the unexpected when driving near schools and in neighbourhoods where school buses and school kids are present.

Motorists also need to be mindful that more and more youths are texting and talking on cell phones as they travel to and from school and as such, they are likely to be more inattentive and unaware of their surroundings.  Using cell phones while driving is against the law and particularly dangerous in and around school zones where kids are walking and may also be distracted with their cell phones. 

The following are a few key safety tips to get drivers and school kids off to a safe start as the school year begins:

  • Always stop and never pass a school bus when its upper alternating red lights are flashing, regardless of whether you are behind the bus or approaching it from the front
  • Reduce your speed and always keep a safe distance behind school buses as they make frequent stops.
  • Always stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and school crossings and obey crossing guards at all times.

Traffic safety is a shared responsibility and the OPP is reminding parents that they can help keep their children safe by teaching them the rules about traffic safety.

LEARN MORE:

School Bus Safety - Information for Riders, Parents and Motorists

School Bus Safety Smarts

www.opp.ca
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SOURCE: Ontario Provincial Police

For further information:

Contacts by OPP Region:

Highway Safety Division: 
Sergeant Dave Woodford 
Phone: 416 553-5471 

Central Region:   
Sergeant Peter Leon  
Phone: 705 329-7414 

East Region:   
Sergeant Kristine Rae  
Phone: 613 284-4557 

Northeast Region:   
Inspector Mark Andrews  
Phone: 705 471-0704 

Northwest Region:   
Sergeant Shelley Garr  
Phone: 807 473-2734 

West Region:                               
Sergeant Dave Rektor                 
Phone: 519 652-4156