Step up caution levels while in school zones

The leaves are turning colour and falling, the early morning and evening mercury tells a story of impending frost all adding up to kids getting back to school. Portage youth returned to class Sept. 5. Mickey Dumont/Citizen photo

With the return of kids back to school on Sept. 5, police will be out making sure driving behaviour in and around schools is at its best. It is a continuous campaign to curb bad driving habits in school zones.

Look also to see enforcement on illegal parking, u-turns in front of schools, double parking and general unsafe driving practices in school zones.

Back to school means more children walking and biking on our roads and younger children often have limited experience with traffic and lack the skills to negotiate traffic safely.

To keep children safe, motorists should always do the following:

Use caution when approaching intersections or mid-block crosswalks. Parked or stopped vehicles may hide pedestrians trying to cross the road; Bus safety is also important. Watch for alternating flashing amber lights which indicate that the bus is slowing down to a stop. Be prepared to do the same. Do not pass a school bus with red flashing lights.

Obey all posted parking signs. Do not park where it is prohibited, for example, designated bus and staff parking areas. Double-parked vehicles (parked on the street side of a parked vehicle) create a significant safety hazard preventing other children and other drivers from seeing students crossing the road.

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