In Canada, Statistics Canada reported over 5.7 million students enrolled in elementary or secondary school programs in 2020, meaning school zones have gotten very busy between the hours of 7 AM and 4 PM. For some drivers, school zones are frequent stops to let children out or pick them up, for other drivers, it may just involve passing through a school zone. Regardless of your reason for driving near a school zone, it’s always important to pay extra close attention and ensure you are driving safely and responsibly. Here at Trubicars, we emphasize the importance of being a safe and responsible driver. We have gathered some of the best tips to ensure you remain safe and responsible while driving in School Zones.
1 Be Aware and Expect High Volumes of Pedestrians
Most often than not, school zones will have designated signs and road markings indicating that you are now driving through a school zone. Some school zones even have speed humps to help remind drivers to slow down in these areas. While you drive in or past these areas, you should expect to see a higher volume of pedestrians, especially during school hours (around 7 AM-4 PM).
2 Reduce your speed
Due to the increased volume of pedestrians, as a driver, you should always reduce your speed in a school zone. As mentioned above, some school zones have speed humps to alert drivers that they need to decrease their speed. When you are traveling at a high speed, you do not leave enough time to slow down and prevent an accident. By ensuring to reduce your speed, you are giving yourself enough time as a driver to react to any situations that may pose a potential accident from happening.
3 Stop for School Buses
As a driver, whenever and wherever you approach a school bus that is stopped with its alternating red lights flashing you too must come to a complete stop, regardless of if you are behind the bus or approaching the bus from the front. You must also be prepared to stop for a school bus at any given time, not just within school operating hours and not just within school zones. If you fail to stop for a stopped school bus that has its alternating red lights flashing, you can be fined between $400 and $2000 and received 6 demerit points.
4 Avoid Distractions
When you drive, regardless of what road you are driving on, you should always remain attentive and ensure you do not have any distractions that may cause your attention to falter from the road ahead. This is especially important in School zones. Due to the increased pedestrian volume in a school zone, a child may drop a ball they are carrying, or be running around roads. If you are distracted behind the wheel in these zones, you may cause a fatal accident. By ensuring to remove distractions, you are allowing yourself to focus on the road and any potential hazards that you may come across. You will give yourself enough time to react to any situation you may face while in these zones.
At Trubicars, we believe and emphasize the importance of how it is your duty as an operator of a motorized vehicle to ensure that you remain safe and responsible behind the wheel, not just for your sake, but for the sake of other road users. Remaining safe and responsible, especially in school zones, not only gives you peace of mind as the driver, but also the supervisors of the children and the children’s parents. Nobody wants to receive the news that their child has been injured in a vehicle collision at school. If you are looking for more information on how to drive safely in school zones, check out the Trubicars website!