Back to school season is nearly upon us, and the Lennox and Addington (L&A) County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is sharing some important safety information.
“During this back-to-school season, we can expect more traffic, busses, and children on the roads during their rush-hour commutes,” the OPP said in a media release. “As students return to the classroom, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reminds motorists of the importance of sharing our roadways responsibly.”
A two-week campaign will launch on Monday, Aug. 28, which the OPP said will “get drivers back to being student and school aware.” According to the release, the campaign will cover all L&A County schools in our area.
The L&A OPP will begin the campaign with an education week from Monday, Aug. 28 to Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. The second week will focus more on strict enforcement starting with the first day back to school Tuesday, Sept. 5 through Friday, Sept. 8, 2023.
In the release, the OPP provided the following “for a passing grade in traffic safety”:
- Obey speed limits and stay alert, especially in school and playground zones.
- Avoid using cell phones and other distractions while driving.
- When a school bus is flashing its alternating red lights, traffic in both directions must stop and not pass. Failure to do so could result in a fine. First offence $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points. Each following offence $1,000 to $4,000 and six demerit points and possible jail time (up to six months).
- When pedestrians are crossing the street, come to a complete stop and do not block the crosswalk with your vehicle. Make eye contact with the pedestrian and ensure they have cleared the road before proceeding.
- Always follow the direction of the crossing guards. Crossing guards are there to keep children safe.
- Keep an eye out for children, especially during school operating hours. Kids can easily become distracted and do not always understand the rules of the road.
- Unload child passengers away from traffic and congestion or in a designated drop-off area.
“We want to make sure the start of the school year is a safe one. By practicing safe driving behaviours in our school zones, we can each do our part to reduce roadway risks this September,” the L&A OPP stated.