Published on September 2nd, 2016 | by Rodrigo Cokting

A Lesson in Back to School Safety

With the long weekend ahead and the first day of school just around the corner, Friday morning was the perfect moment to launch a distracted driving and road safety initiative.

CAA South Central Ontario teamed up with Ontario Provincial Police and Arrive Alive to bring the important message to the province.

“Drivers need to pay extra attention in school zones and residential neighbourhoods, especially before and after school hours because students can be easily distracted by friends and electronic devices,” said Elliott Silverstein, Government Relations Manager at CAA South Central Ontario. “Drivers should also always avoid talking or texting on their phone. Taking your eyes off the road, even for a second, can have dire consequences.”

It was a sentiment that was echoed by the OPP.

“The Ontario Provincial Police continue to see inattentive related driving as a leading cause of death and injury on Provincial Highways,” explained Chief Supt. Chick Cox, Commander, Highway Safety Division of the OPP. “The OPP’s priority is public safety and we will continue to patrol the highways ensuring that all drivers have their complete attention on driving.”

A recent survey conducted by CAA South Central Ontario revealed that 32 per cent of drivers in Ontario admitted to distracted driving. The survey also found that drivers with less than 10 years of experience are more likely to be distracted behind the wheel.

When you’re on the road, always remember:

  • Avoid talking or texting on your phone (or any activities that take your attention away from teh road.)
  • Always check for children on the sidewalk, driveway and behind your vehicle before backing up
  • Slow down and pay extra attention in residential areas and school zones.
  • Be ready tos top at all times as children may dart out between parked vehicles
  • Come to a complete stop for school buses when red lights are flashing.

CAA’s School Safety Patrollers were also at the scene demonstrating proper and safe procedures for boarding and descending a school bus, as well as a demonstration of evacuation procedures. There are 55 police services, 800 schools and approximately 20,000 elementary school students in Ontario involved in the CAA School Safety Patrol Program.

With children heading back to school, take a moment to refresh your road safety knowledge with our new videos discussing: walking to school, driving to school as well as sharing the roads with school buses.

To watch Friday’s events in full, head over to our Periscope feed of the event by clicking here.



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