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Travelers Network: Back to school means more cars on the road

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    Thursday, August 29, 2013, 6:27 PM -

    With the change of seasons comes the change in weather patterns to cooler temperatures. Commuters will tell you that there is also a change in traffic patterns when children head back to school. Officer Chris Boddy, Staff Sargeant with Toronto Police Services says "It's important to remember that traffic patterns change when kids go back to school so patience is the key for all road users."

    Changes in traffic patterns are especially evident when making your way through school zones before and after class. "Drivers are reminded when traveling through school zones to be extra vigilant and alert behind the wheel as a child could dart out onto the roadway at any moment."

    It is important for drivers to take extra caution when on the roads but it is also important for parents and children to always be aware of their surroundings while crossing the street and traveling to and from school. “Parents should remind their children of pedestrian safety tips such as stop, look and listen before crossing the street. In addition, kids should be discouraged from the use of electronic devices while walking to school. The use of headphones or texting while crossing the street can pose a danger for everyone regardless of age.” Remind students that they should never run when entering or exiting school buses.

    School buses transport more than 800,000 students every school day. No matter what the speed limit or number of lanes on the roads, whether you are in the city or the country it is the law for vehicles to stop in both directions when approaching a school bus with flashing red lights and the folding arm out. Non-compliance can cost drivers $400 - $2000 for first time offenders, this fine increases with multiple offences.

    Keep these thoughts in the back of your mind and be sure to speak with young ones about street safety, it’s not just up to drivers. If everyone is conscious of safety on the roads and do their part we have a better chance of everyone getting where they need to go safely especially when heading back to school.

    Follow Officer Chris Boddy on Twitter at @TPSChrisBoddy and @TravelersNWK for updates on GTA roads and important information.

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