Driving safely around schools

December 4, 2018

By Eugene Herbert

With more and more schools opening in the suburbs each year it is important that drivers – particularly fleet drivers operating in those areas – be aware of the dangers associated with driving in this environment.

While it is true that the legal speed limit is 60km/h it does not imply that it is safe or prudent to drive at those speeds around schools. In fact, many drivers conduct themselves atrociously in these areas and sadly are not alone. These habits are common to other parts of the world.

In 2015, US drivers illegally passed school buses more than 13 million times. Ignoring school bus traffic regulations is not only illegal in the US, it can have tragic consequences for children and drivers alike. About eight children lose their lives every year to drivers who disregard school bus stop signs.

Here are some recommendations when driving around schools.

  • Slow down: When driving in neighbourhoods with school zones, be aware of the speed limit and follow it or drive under it. MasterDrive recommends a reduction of up to 50%, yes that means 30km/h or lower.
  • Be alert: Watch for children walking, playing or assembling near bus stops. Also, children arriving late for buses may suddenly dart out of nowhere, so it’s wise to be extra cautious.
  • Obey the rules of the road: Drivers must follow laws — regardless of which direction you are travelling. Be considerate of other road users and don’t be impatient as this could cause you to knock over a child – with tragic consequences.
  • Know the danger zones: Not all kids ride the bus so be on the lookout for children crossing unmarked intersections and roadways. In addition, pay extra attention when making right turns or at red lights — kids are small and you can’t always spot them as easily as adult pedestrians.

Watch a video from CBS News to learn more about driving safely in school zones and near school buses.

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