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Stay safe on the roads during the back to school rush

Drivers and pedestrians should exercise caution around schools

September 4, 2020

School zone and reduced speed limit sign

While the first day of school may look different for families this year, there is at least one important part of the experience that has not changed: road safety.

Drivers and pedestrians must always be cautious around schools and daycares, especially as sidewalks and crosswalks will be busier than usual as students get back into their walking-to-school routine. Roadways will also see more activity as more parents and caregivers drop children off.

“Children walking, on bikes, or getting out of vehicles may not always be looking for traffic,” said Cory Guest, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Public Education Coordinator.

Maximum speed limits of 30 km/h are back in effect until the end of June around many Winnipeg schools from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

While signage is posted in these areas, drivers should be mindful of all traffic regulations, including school crosswalks and school loading areas, and always follow the directions of school crossing guards and student patrols.

Drivers should be extra cautious around crosswalks.

Guest also reminded everyone, regardless of how old they are, to always look both ways before crossing any street and to only cross at an intersection with lights, a stop sign, or at a crosswalk. It is important, especially for children, to never step out between parked cars to cross a street.

Cyclists should walk their bikes when crossing a street, and both pedestrians and cyclists should make eye contact with drivers of stopped vehicles before stepping into a roadway. Children and adults should also to watch for vehicles and cyclists before getting out of a vehicle.

Guest said parents can use this as an opportunity to point out potential hazards and help their children choose safe places to cross streets when needed.

Winnipeg Road Safety Strategic Action Plan

We understand the importance of everyone staying safe on the roads. We’re currently developing a Road Safety Strategic Action Plan that will serve as a roadmap for implementing both short-term solutions and long-term investments.

Public engagement is currently underway with several in-person and virtual opportunities for residents to learn more about the plan. If you are unable to attend one of the events, there is also a discussion kit that features a colouring sheet to get kids involved in the road safety conversation.

You have until September 30, 2020 to provide feedback.


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