Officers are featured in safety videos focusing on cycling, railway crossings, driving, crosswalks and buses

(London Police Service)

Another school year is upon us and police in London, Ont. want to remind students, parents and caregivers about safety when travelling to and from school.

Since Friday, police have posting a safety video each day covering bicycle safety, bus safety, railway crossings, safe driving and crossing the street.

“As the London Police Service, we want the kids to be careful, look out for each other and have a safe and happy school year,” said Const. Sandasha Bough, media relations officer.

If your little ones are riding bicycles to school, police say they should wear a properly fitted helmet, close-toed shoes, bright coloured clothing and use bike reflectors.

“Make sure you ride on the right side of the road, and for kids, the safest place is always the sidewalk,” said Bough.

Anyone under the age of 18 is legally required to wear a helmet.

Railway crossing safety includes obeying the signs, not playing on or near train tracks, and looking in both directions before crossing.

Driver safety is aimed at the grownups. Police want to remind parents and guardians to watch for kids walking and riding their bikes to school. All vehicles must stop for buses that have a stop sign and lights activated.

Drivers are also being urged to follow their child’s school drop-off rules.

Most importantly, put down your phone and other devices.
– Cst. Sandasha Bough, Media Relations Officer.

School zones in London have also had their speed limit decreased from 50 km/h to 40 km/h in the past few years.

Children who are walking to school should always cross the street with a crossing guard if one is present. At uncontrolled crosswalks, children should look in all directions that vehicles can travel before crossing.

For children who are taking the bus to school, Bough say it’s a good idea to practice their routine.

“It’s always a great idea, whether you’re walking to school or taking a school bus, to go over that route beforehand with your parents or guardians and find out exactly what the safest route is to get to that bus stop,” she said.

Children should wait for the bus in a safe location, about 10 big steps back from the curb, Bough says. Students should cross the street in front of the bus, never behind it, and wait for the driver’s signal before crossing.

Along with promoting back-to-school safety, police will also be out in full force this week targeting drivers in school zones.

“Our traffic management unit will be conducting targeted enforcement in school areas,” said Bough. “They’re focusing on distracted driving and speeding.”

A typical school zone starts 150 metres before a school property and ends 150 metres after a school property.

The fine for distracted driving is $490, along with three demerit points upon conviction.

Failure to stop for a school bus can result in fines ranging from $400 to $2,000.

The back-to-school videos are available on the London Police Service’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube feeds.

Source: CBC News