Back to School Safety message from Police Chief Paul CookTuesday, August 27, 2013 by: Kate AdamsIt was good while it lasted: summer vacations, swimming pool parties and backyard barbecues. However, it’s time to start thinking about back-to-school activities with a reminder about safety and the expectations of increased traffic as students head back to school.
Next Tuesday will see an increase morning rush of cars, SUVs, minivans and the four-way flashing lights of Schools buses. Students from primary school to university and collage will begin the pilgrimage to and from; on foot, bikes, boards, school buses and City Transit. Time management is a critical planning factor when we know there will be increased traffic congestion caused by thousands of local students heading back to class. The North Bay Police Service is asking all drivers to be vigilant and to be extra careful in the mornings and afternoon hours when school traffic is at its peak.
Staff Sergeant Rick Dubeau and Constable Joe Whitehead of the NBPS Traffic Unit are asking everyone to be patient as back-to-school traffic hits our roadways. Studies show that traffic is always the worst for the first few days of a new school year as everyone gets into their back-to-school mindset and parents learn, or re-learn, their loading and unloading routines.
Please take some time this week to go over a few back-to-school driving reminders with your family:
Plan ahead. Leave a few minutes early and build in extra time for congestion. Remember to take extra precautions, especially the first day of school. It can be a little hectic as children are excited about getting back in the classroom and seeing their friends. They may forget about caution and safety.
Come to a complete stop at intersections with stop signs. Research shows that more than one third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones and neighborhoods.
Always stop for loading or unloading school buses. It may be tempting to drive around stopped school buses, but not only is it dangerous, it’s against the law.
Parents of teenage drivers need to remind their teen to obey the traffic law and use caution. It’s better to be late than not show up at all.
If we take our time and make obeying traffic laws a priority, the first days of school can be safe ones for our children. Let’s stay alert and drive cautiously through posted school zones.
Chief Paul Cook