PRESS RELEASE: August 26, 2011 - With the kids going back to school, InsuranceHotline.com provides a timely reminder to drivers to be aware of the presence of students coming and going from school. School buses, school zones and more children crossing the streets all mean drivers need to be vigilant to keep kids safe and avoid tickets that could increase insurance rates.
Labour Day marks the end of the summer vacation for kids across Canada, and drivers should be prepared for the changes that the school year brings. To keep kids safe as they head off to school, InsuranceHotline.com offers reminders and tips to increase awareness of the rules of the road when it comes to school buses, school zones and crosswalks. Caution will not only ensure the safety of our children, but help drivers to avoid costly fines and insurance rate increases as a result.
Slow Down in School Zones.
School zones have reduced speed limits, and the fines for speeding can be steep. Watch carefully for school zone signs when passing by a school while classes are in session. School zone speed limits are usually in force during the hours when children are arriving at school for the day as well as when they are leaving in addition to during school hours.
Although it may seem incredibly slow, the extra caution required in school zones helps to prevent accidents in which children can be injured or worse. Police are not known for being flexible when it comes to speeding in a school zone, and this is one speeding ticket that won’t look good on a driver’s record. Speeding tickets are one of the top causes of increased insurance rates, and school zone speed violations are especially serious.
Stop for the School Bus.
As school buses take to the streets and deliver children safely to and from their school day, drivers need to be aware of the rules regarding passing or approaching a school bus. Keep these things in mind:
• Never pass a school bus when the red lights are flashing. Come to a complete stop and wait until the lights are turned off.
• Drivers are required to stop for a school bus in both traffic directions – whether coming up behind the bus or approaching from the front, come to a stop until the lights are turned off.
• Watch for flashing amber lights that indicate the bus is preparing to stop and slow down accordingly.
• School buses stop at all railway crossings; when following one allow space and stopping distance.
Use Caution at Crosswalks.
Even if driving outside a designated school zone, residential neighbourhoods and areas surrounding schools can be very busy with foot traffic around the hours when school starts, ends, and at lunchtime. It’s a good idea to approach crosswalks and intersections with extra caution and be aware of the presence of children on sidewalks and in the vicinity.
"Children heading to school are often excited and not always paying attention to traffic on the road," says Tammy Ezer of InsuranceHotline.com. "It’s up to us as drivers to use extra caution especially in school zones, and to be aware of kids coming and going from school. Responsible driving keeps kids safe and insurance rates low."
The beginning of the school year is also a time when many drivers are spending more time on the road; driving kids back and forth from school as well as to and from extra-curricular activities. It’s a good time to take a look at current car insurance; make sure everything is up to date and even consider shopping around for a better rate. InsuranceHotline.com provides free car insurance quotes and helps drivers to get the best rate.