Published on September 10th, 2014 | by Natalie Finnemore

Keeping School Zone Safety in Motion All Year Long

You’ve got the kids ready, loaded up the backpacks and dashed out to the car, but during the rush of your morning commute, you may be forgetting the most important part of dropping your kids off to school.

“We ask parents to always respect school zones,” said Alain Martel, safety officer for the School Transportation Consortium of Ottawa. “The participation of parents is really important because they have to set a good example.”

One of the most important aspects of your morning commute is being mindful in school zones. Martel recommends that parents drop their older children off one or two blocks away from the school to help alleviate congestion.

“One of the largest concerns is the volume of traffic we see in school zones,” said Karl Zorn, school safety officer and 32-year veteran for the Guelph Police Service. “My advice is to choose safety over convenience.”

For those who drive their children to school:

  • Try carpooling and avoid stopping near school bus loading zones
  • Pick up and drop off your children on the same side of the street as the school, that way they don’t need to cross the road and can use the sidewalk
  • When you see the bus stop lights flashing, you must stop, regardless of your direction of travel (if the roadway is divided by a median, in that case,  the opposite direction of traffic does not have to stop)

If it’s possible for your children to walk to school:

  • Allow children to walk in a group
  • Have younger children walk with an older child
  • If possible, walk your children back and forth from school

“CAA has a long history of helping children and parents maintain safety in school zones through our CAA School Safety Patrol program,” said Albert Pasceri, School Safety Patrol representative, CAA South Central Ontario. “If your child’s school doesn’t have the program, consider starting one as an extra measure of safety.”

CAA supports school zone safety through the CAA School Safety Patrol program. The program began more than 80 years ago to train students to help their fellow students cross the road and use the school bus safely.

About the CAA School Safety Patrol program:

  • More than 20,000 elementary school are involved in the program
  • Patrollers dedicate more than 3.45 million hours volunteering for the School Safety Patrol
  • About 55 police services in Ontario support the program


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