Dangerous Driving in School Zones
Trending on social media are videos like the one below, posted by school bus operators trying to safely deliver your children to school, as busy morning commuters ignore the lights and signs of the bus. Watching these videos, you see drivers pass buses, although the stop sign and flashing lights are telling them to do just the opposite. The near misses and the potential danger to children simply entering or exiting a school bus are horrifying! A real problem is emerging (or finally being talked about thanks to videos like this one) and it is important to raise awareness to ensure the safety of the children.
Equally dangerous are the parents who drive their own kids to school. The dangerous driving habits of these commuters are staggering. The morning rush hour often leads to dropping kids off on the opposite side of the road, forcing them to jaywalk into busy traffic, stopping in the middle of the road to let them out, and double parking too – these are all dangerous drop-off behaviours that increase the chances of your child being hit by a car.
Crazy to think that the most dangerous part of a kid’s day may be getting to school!
Crazier that the violators are most often parents!
Agreed, the morning commute is a busy, stressful time of the day, people have to get to work – but U-turns in front of a school, blocking wheelchair loading zones and not even coming to a complete parked stop when dropping kids off are becoming all too common in school safety zones.
We have to do what we can to make it safe for the kids to get to school.
10 tips to follow to safely drop kids off at school:
- Leave 5 minutes earlier. This will give you time to slow down and drive with caution in the school zone.
- Respect the designated drop-off zone – pay special attention to the school bus.
- Always drop kids off on the side of the street where the school is located.
- Kids should always get out of the car on the sidewalk.
- Do not double park as this blocks visibility.
- No distracted driving – coffee down, phone away.
- No U-turns or three point turns.
- Never pass in a school zone – especially a bus!
- If traffic is too heavy, park and walk your child the short distance to the school (you have the extra 5 minutes when you left early this morning).
- Carpool if possible to reduce traffic congestion.
School zones are busy spots indeed, but with extra care and caution, they don’t have to be dangerous. Not to mention that the penalties a driver can receive if they are caught performing a reckless act in a school zone can be very costly! Just ask the Ministry of Transportation. First time offenders can be fined anywhere from $400 – $2,000 and received 6 demerit points on their license for passing a stopped school bus with the red lights flashing.