The City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Police Service are offering tips to residents on extra safety precautions that should be taken as students return to school next week.
Motorists are reminded to avoid distractions and stay alert in case a child darts out into your path. Using the phone, eating, or sipping your coffee will affect your reaction time.
Stop when approaching a school bus that is displaying flashing red lights and an extended stop arm. Traffic in both directions must stop while the bus loads or unloads passengers and may only continue when the lights stop flashing.
Give yourself extra time and try to leave earlier on your commute – traffic is generally more congested during the first few weeks of September. Even if you don’t live in a school zone, your area might be affected.
Cyclists and Pedestrians
Walking and cycling to and from school is a great way to help children get their daily physical activity, and it’s good for the environment too. More people walking mean fewer cars on the road and less pollution.
All cyclists under the age of eighteen years are required by law to wear a helmet while riding or operating a bicycle. Helmets only protect if they fit snugly and are worn correctly.
Pedestrians are also reminded to put away electronic devices, cellphones and take out ear buds so they can easily hear and see approaching traffic.
School zones are busy places with many children walking, riding their bikes and getting dropped off. The speed limit in these areas and near playgrounds is 40km/hr. Drive slowly, pay attention and watch for cyclists and pedestrians.
Parents picking up or dropping off children are asked to follow all posted signage to avoid fines. Most school areas have No Stopping and No Parking zones that are to be kept clear for safe access by pedestrians, and to allow school buses or other school vehicles to safely unload student passengers.
School crossing guards are positioned in school zones across the city to help students safely cross the street. Drivers and pedestrians should follow the directions of crossing guards at all times. By law, motorists must wait for the pedestrians and the crossing guard to reach the other side of the roadway before proceeding.
For school crossing guard locations, please visit www.hamilton.ca. If a school crossing guard is not at their usual location, call 905-546-2200 immediately. In the meantime, ask the school principal or teachers for assistance.