This is the first week that students across the province are heading back to school and with that the Alberta RCMP would like to remind students, parents, and drivers of a few safety tips which will make the return to school a safe one for everyone.
Parents and guardians:
- Show your child a safe route to walk to and from school. Make sure they know how to safely use a crosswalk and obey all traffic control devices and crossing guards.
- Rain, snow, fog, and darkness may obscure the vision of motorists, making pedestrians difficult to see. Your child should know that even though they may see an approaching vehicle, the driver may not see you. Teach them to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
- Remind children that listening to loud music on headphones or texting while walking is hazardous as they are less aware of potential traffic dangers around them.
- If waiting for a school bus, ensure your child is aware of the traffic hazards that may be present near the bus stop. Show them a safe place where they may wait to catch the bus.
- In the dim early morning hours or on dark evenings, brightly-coloured clothing, a reflective armband, or clothing with reflective strips will help children to be seen by motorists.
- Instruct your child never to run after a school bus in an effort to catch it as neither the bus driver nor other motorists may see them on the road.
- As a pedestrian, do not always assume that you have the right of way.
- If you decide to meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait at the bus stop itself: not across the street from it. Children may forget traffic safety rules in their excitement to see you after their school day and dash across the street.
- Be on the lookout for children and students walking to school as you pull out or back out of your garage and driveway.
- Be alert and mindful that it can be difficult to see pedestrians during dim mornings or dark evenings.
- Remember, it is illegal to pass a school bus when its red lights are flashing red. Drivers on both sides of the road must remain stopped until the flashing red lights are turned off.
- Drivers need to slow down in school zones and be particularly alert for students during school hours, especially when dropping off and picking up children from school.
For more traffic safety information, follow #Safety101 on Facebook @RCMPinAlberta and Twitter @RCMPAlberta.
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