Getting Ottawa’s students back to school – Helpful road safety tips

Getting students back to school safely

With an influx of university and college students coming to Ottawa over the coming weeks and more than 300 schools re-opening in Ottawa this fall, remember to watch for students as they travel to and from school.

If you’re a driver, here are some helpful tips from the City of Ottawa to help protect students as they return to in-person learning.

Municpal Speed Camera Ottawa

Watch your speed! Motorists should slow down near schools and watch for speed limit signs. Some communities will have automated speed enforcement cameras installed. When these cameras are active, motorists photographed speeding will get a ticket.

Many collisions happen at dusk and dawn. Pay particular attention to pedestrians and students at those times. As a helpful reminder, always make eye contactwith children wanting to cross the road and wait for them to get completely across before proceeding.

Remember school bus safety. If you see red flashing lights and an extended stop arm on a school bus, it means students may be stepping onto the roadway. Never pass a school bus if its stop arm is extended or if its red lights are flashing. School buses may stop anywhere, and drivers should be ready to stop at any time when travelling behind one.

On roads that don’t have a median, drivers travelling in both directions must stop for a school bus that has its red lights flashing and stop arm extended. If you stop while facing a bus, stop at a safe distance from the front of the bus to let students cross the road.

Obey crossing guards. There will be crossing guards at 260 locations across the city each morning and afternoon to help students safely cross the road. Remember to stop and yield the entire roadway when a crossing guard is present and displaying their stop sign. Drivers and cyclists may only proceed when pedestrians and school crossing guards have safely reached the sidewalk.

If you are a parent or student, here’s how you can make your travel to school as safe as possible.

Walk to school safely. Always walk on available sidewalks and cross at intersections. Before crossing, remember to:

  • Stop before stepping into road
  • Increase your visibility and indicate you want to cross
  • Look in all directions and listen for traffic
  • Cross only when the road is clear
  • Walk directly across road – do not run or cycle
  • Use a buddy system, if possible

If you are crossing at an intersection with signals, wait for the pedestrian walk signal before crossing.

If you’re riding your bike to school, learn about cycling safely and sharing the road responsibly.

Also remember:

Pedestrian Crossovers (PXOs) allow pedestrians to safely cross the road. All vehicles must yield to pedestrians when crossing. PXOs are identified by specific signs and pavement markings. In some cases, but not always, they may also have pedestrian activated flashing lights.

Pedestrian Crossover sign

It is everyone’s responsibility to understand and follow the rules at pedestrian crossovers. Pedestrians and cyclists walking their bikes should:

  • Wait for traffic to stop
  • Make eye contact to ensure drivers see you
  • Walk across the road

Drivers and cyclists on the road should:

  • Be prepared to stop for pedestrians
  • Stop behind the yield line
  • Make eye contact to ensure pedestrians see you
  • Wait until pedestrians completely cross before proceeding

Find out more about community safety, cycling safety and the City’s Road Safety Action Plan.

provided by City of Ottawa

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