Aug 22, 2007

Safety a priority at back-to-school time, says Young Drivers of Canada

Ottawa, Ontario – As children prepare to head back to school, drivers need to focus on making the roads safer and re-familiarizing themselves with safe driving tips, says Young Drivers of Canada. The company says that each year in Canada, more than 4,000 children are hit by motor vehicles while playing outdoors or walking to school.

Young Drivers of Canada offers the following advice to drivers:

  • Look well ahead to spot school buses and school zone signs; reduce speed in school zones, and wait for children to cross completely before proceeding.
  • If you are driving your children to school, drop them off in a safe area, away from traffic; use a designated drop-off zone if the school has one.
  • Stop at least 20 metres behind a school bus when the upper red lights begin to flash, and do not proceed until the “stop sign” is closed and the red lights stop flashing. Motorists travelling in both directions must stop for the school bus, except if the road is divided by a median.
  • Scan under parked cars for the feet of children approaching traffic, and make lane changes early to allow room for children on bicycles, skateboards or roller blades.
  • Children under the age of 13 are safest in the back seat away from passenger air bags. Have the correct type of seat that corresponds to the child’s weight and size; a booster seat should be used for a child weighing between 18 and 36 kg (40 to 80 lbs) and less than 145 cm tall (4-foot-9).

  • Avoid distractions such as using cell phones, eating or drinking, or personal grooming. Give children items such as books or toys to occupy their attention, so that your focus is on the road.

For more road safety tips, visit Young Drivers of Canada’s website.

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