Back-to-school driving dos and don'ts

Image: Back-to-school driving dos and don'ts

As September rolls in, it’s always good to do a mini check-in with your driving routine; your summer habits behind the wheel may need some regulating as back-to-school season is underway.

Many people unknowingly pick up bad driving habits during the summer months that may limit their attentiveness on the road. Something as simple as playing loud music could have a considerable impact on someone’s reaction time!

Children don’t have a lot of experience sharing the road with moving cars, drivers have to be extra cautious when navigating residential and school areas. This means ignoring any distractions inside the car and keeping your focus on everything outside of the car.

Here are a couple friendly reminders to fine tune your driving skills to be school zone friendly.

Sharing the road with our little pedestrians

  • Always be aware of school crossing zones and cross walks
  • Take a little extra time at stop signs and make sure your checking all blind spots
  • Always be aware of j-walkers and your surroundings

Sharing the road with school buses

  • School buses, unlike their city counterparts, require drivers to yield and stop, regardless of the direction you are travelling in
  • When stopped, there should be at least 10 feet between you and the bus
  • Never pass a school bus with its stop arm out and lights flashing

Driving in a school zone

  • School zone speed limits start at 40 kms in residential and urban school zones. In rural areas they are up to 100 kms. Always be aware of signage
  • Always remember that if the speed limit is not posted, it means 50 kms maximum

Back-to-school means many young pedestrians are on the road and therefore there is an increased chance of automobile collisions. Help keep our roads safe by doing your part. Always be alert behind the wheel, and stay up-to-date on traffic regulations.

Here are some quick tips from the Peel Regional Police:

  • Be aware of school zone signage
  • Reduce speed in school zones
  • Be ready to stop at all times. Children do not always notice oncoming traffic
  • Always try to make eye contact with children waiting to cross the road
  • Be patient and wait for children to complete their crossing before proceeding
  • Stop when directed to do so by a crossing guard