When school is out, so are the children.
With March Break just around the corner, drivers need to be extra vigilant on the roads. School is out and so are the children -- out and about playing, especially after being cooped up all winter.
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Slow Down and Drive Cautiously
With the weather starting to warm enticing kids to “get out and play”, children will be out during hours when they usually are in school and may also be out later in the evening during the break. It’s important to slow down and watch for children enjoying their time off. Use extra caution, proceed slowly, and keep an eagle eye out:
- Near playgrounds or parks where kids congregate
- When coming to a corner as children might not be initially visible before making your turn
- In school zones because the schoolyard is still a great place to play
- Near recreation and community centres where March Break camps and activities are often held
- At crosswalks and intersections. It is especially important since there won’t be crossing guards who might normally be there to help
- On residential streets where kids may be visiting friends and exploring the neighbourhood on foot or bicycle
- On roads where street parking is allowed making it harder to see little ones
- When entering or leaving your driveway because excited kids running down the sidewalk can come out of nowhere quickly
Being aware that so many children are out of school is the first line of defence to ensure accidents are avoided. Remember that kids often dash out without looking and can’t be depended on to watch for traffic. Drive slowly in areas where you can reasonably expect to find kids to ensure you have time to react if a child makes a sudden move.
Obey the Rules of the Road
Drivers should obey the rules of the road at all times, but during times when kids are out of school, it is even more important to take care and caution behind the wheel. Running a red light or a stop sign becomes a much more dangerous move when children are on a break from school.
Be sure to use your turn signals too, so people on the streets can anticipate where your vehicle will be moving to next. Letting people know your intentions is easy to do and can make a big difference in keeping you, your passengers, and pedestrians safe. Also, don’t be a distracted driver. A good rule of thumb to drive by is if you need to take your eyes or attention away from the road, it can wait. It’s also illegal and can result in a hefty ticket and higher car insurance rates. Most importantly, though, it takes your attention away from the road where it is needed to ensure the safety of children during March Break.