It is that time of the year again and our most
beloved treasures are heading back to school.
Our paper to reminds everyone of the basic
driving precautions to protect our children
around the school zones.
It is important to respect the signage in the
loading areas around schools. The objective is to
allow all parents to drop their child off at school
in complete safety. It is therefore important to
leave the space when your child has reached
If your child does not use school transport and you are going to take it back to school and
pick it up after the end of the day, you have an
important role to play, especially if you are there
during the arrival of other pupils and children as
well as school buses. The recklessness of parents
in too much of a hurry endangers the lives of
young children walking around the school.
Drivers need to be aware and alert around
school zones. That is why they were created.
Children get hit every year because of reckless
drivers and as the authorities remined everyone,
being in a hurry is not an excuse to put a child’s
life in danger. Here are some supplementary tips
for safe driving behaviors around school zones.
Reduced Speed Signs
We have all seen the school zone signs. In
Quebec, the common speed around School
Zones is 30km. Remember, the fine for speeding
and not obeying traffic laws in school zones is
usually much higher than in other areas.
Watch for Children
School zones are there to protect the kids. Even
when you are following all the rules, driving
cautiously and not speeding, it is still possible
for accidents to happen. A driver should always
be alert because a child does not always think to
make sure they look both ways, wait for traffic to
pass or not play near the street. When they are
not looking, it is up to the driver to be careful
and protect the child’s life.
In Quebec when a school bus turns on its flashing lights or deploys its stop sign, you must stop
at least 5 meters from the bus, whether you are
travelling in the same direction or approaching
from the opposite direction. Offenders face: a
fine of $200 to $300 and a great reduction of
your demerit points.
Be Prepared to Brake
When you are going 30 km an hour, there is
really no need to be stepping on the accelerator.
Instead, coasting is preferable. Keep your foot
above the brake pedal so you can react quickly
in an emergency as you were taught in drivers
This goes for anytime you are behind the wheel.
Driving a car is a big responsibility, and not
one to be taken lightly. You must always be on
attentive when operating a vehicle. Texting while
driving, or inattentive driving in general, is an
easy way to injure or kill someone. With so many
more opportunities for bad things to happen, it
is even more important that you put down the
phone and focus on driving in School Zones.
While not exclusively a School Zone sign, the
yellow and black crosswalk signs are almost
always located within School Zones, as well as
other places. When you spot one of these signs,
watch for pedestrians crossing the street. Many
parents walk their children to and from school,
or allow their young ones to walk on their own.
Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. They have
the right of way.
According to CAA, below are some surprising
statistics about dangerous behaviors in school
Nearly a quarter of drivers reported witnessing a near miss or collision in a school zone,
more than half of which involved a child (CAA
Nearly 1/2 of Canadians say they
witnessed a distracted driver in a
school zone (CAA polling, 2019).
Nearly 6 in 10 Canadians say there
are more unsafe driving practices in
school zones today than in the past
(CAA polling, 2019).
70% of Canadians say they have
witnessed speeding in school zones, an
increase from polling done in 2016
(CAA polling, 2019).
The top three unsafe motorist
behaviours seen in Canadian school
zones are speeding, illegal parking
or stopping and texting and driving or
distracted driving (CAA polling, 2019).
621 drivers were found speeding in a
one-day assessment that at looked at
13 Quebec school zones between
7:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
267 drivers did not stop at a stop
sign and 227 pedestrians jaywalked
in a one-day assessment that looked
at a Saskatchewan-based school zone
between 7:30 to 9:00 am and
2:30 to 4:00 pm
(CAA Saskatchewan, 2019).
September is a dangerous month for pedestrians with more fatalities occurring during this
month than any other (Transport Canada, 2017).