© File photo
School bus driver Lyle McDonald of Lang gets a high five from Cornelius of Grade 4 as a part of Education Week celebrations.
Once again school bells will call children back to school for another year. It is a busy time when the “dog days” of summer have passed and we set our routine to the return of school. For first time school children or those returning for another year it is time to brush up on some safety tips.
Traveling to and from school is one of the most dangerous activities because children lack the supervision from the parents or teachers. In a hurry children might forget the basic rules and dart out into traffic. Motorists need to slow down through school zones and be alert for children crossing.
Motorists – most school zones have a 30 km/hr speed zone marked by a florescent yellow sign. Please obey the posted speed limit for the school zone you are in Slow down and watch for children crossing.
Motorists - take a few extra minutes traveling to work if you regularly travel past a school or in a residential area. Children will be walking to and from school, excited to renew old friendships and maybe running a bit behind. Sometimes children forget the rules of the road.
Motorists – if you must use a cellular telephone while in your vehicle get a hands free device or pull or to the side to make that important call. A moment’s inattention might be cause for a collision with a pedestrian. Such incidents are avoidable and preventable. SGI statistics say your 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash texting while.
Moms and dads - always try and drop your child off on the school side of the street. This avoids trying to get across the very busy streets around many schools.
Children – cross only at the corner. Look both ways before walking out into the road. Make sure that you see the oncoming traffic and they can see you too! Wave to the driver of the vehicle as you cross. A big SUV still might have trouble seeing you cross. Be seen!
Children – always use cross walks and intersections that have a school patroller present. These special road way markings ensure that you can cross safely. Always obey the instructions given by the school patroller. For areas without a school patroller or marked crosswalk, cross with care.
Children – walk on the side walk and ride your bike on the street in the direction of traffic. If must ride on the sidewalk please yield to pedestrians walking. Don’t forget to wear the gear like helmets for bikes, scooters and skateboards. Additional gear like wrist guards, knee pads or elbow pads may also be required.
Children – when playing in the playground watch for sharp objects, dangerous equipment or garbage. Report any hazards to a parent or teachers supervising the playgrounds. Never attempt to pick up sharp objects.
Children – if a ball is accidentally lost over the playground fence, STOP and LOOK BOTH WAYS before running out into the street before trying to retrieve it.
Back to school is an exciting time. Practice safety each and every day. Remember the rules of the road and obey all signs and signals. Motorists please watch for children on bikes, skateboards scooters or on foot. Our children’s safety depends on your attention to safe operation of a motor vehicle. School starts Tuesday, September 2, welcome back teachers and students.
Lyle Karasiuk is the director of public affairs for Parkland Ambulance in Prince Albert.