The Northwest Territories RCMP remind all students, parents and motorists to pay attention to pedestrians, school buses and traffic laws. Here some helpful tips issued by the NT RCMP for making the 2019/20 school year a safe one.

Parents and students:

  • Walk on sidewalks and use marked crosswalks wherever available;
  • When there is no sidewalk, walk on the left-hand side of the road facing traffic, so that you can see them and they can see you;
  • If biking, ride on the right-hand side of the road in the same direction as traffic;
  • Walk your bike across busy intersections and crosswalks and follow traffic signals;
  • Use bike lanes or designated bike routes whenever possible and ALWAYS wear a helmet;
  • Before crossing the street, always look both ways – make eye contact with drivers to make sure they have seen you, and wait for cars to stop;
  • When waiting for the school bus, stand back from the road until the bus has come to a complete stop with its flashing red lights activated;
  • Ensure children know their home address and the phone number of at least one parent or guardian;
  • Remind children that they should never accept a ride or get into a vehicle with a stranger;
  • Practice safety in numbers – walk to school or to the bus stop with a friend or group of friends whenever possible;
  • Wear reflective or light-coloured clothing to help ensure motorists can see you – this is especially important for us here in the NWT, given our dark winters;
  • Be alert – wearing headphones or walking and texting may pose risks, as you may not be aware of nearby traffic;
  • If you are driving your kids to school or daycare, wear your seat belt;
  • Make sure children are properly buckled into appropriate car seats and boosters.

Motorists:

  • Slow down and obey the speed limit in school zones;
  • Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks;
  • Watch for and pay attention to bikes, crossing guards and school buses;
  • Wait until the school bus driver has turned off the red lights before proceeding – traffic in both directions must stop when a school bus has its red lights flashing;
  • Be cautious when approaching intersections;
  • Prepare for the unexpected, such as children walking on medians, roadways and curbs;
  • Do not operate a mobile device when driving – it is illegal for drivers to hold, operate, communicate or watch the screen of any type of hand-held electronic communication device, including sending or receiving text messages or e-mails.

agreen@vistaradio.ca

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