As we approach the Labour Day long weekend, and the sun continues to set earlier in the night, it marks the unofficial end to the summer for families across Ontario.
I hope that the children in your life have enjoyed their time off from school, taking advantage of the summer weather and exploring the great outdoors.
As kids prepare to return to school, we as adults also need to prepare to keep our children safe during these times.
Let’s remember to slow down while driving, ensure we stop for school buses, and be extra cautious for children who may be walking or biking to school.
During my time as a city councillor, I led the way by launching the I Stop, You Stop road safety campaign in Ottawa. As part of this campaign, Ottawa was also the first city in Ontario to deploy a fully automated camera system to catch and fine motorists who speed passed stopped school buses.
The Ottawa Safety Council has said that you may see school buses now showing off a new Eight Lamp Amber-Red Warning System.
What you’ll see now:
- Flashing Amber Lights indicate that the bus is slowing and preparing to stop
- Flashing Red Lights indicate the bus is stopped and you are required by law to stop as well
- Remember to stop at least 20 metres behind the bus and do not begin moving again until the lights stop flashing (that’s about two full bus lengths)
- If there is a median, only traffic on the same side as the bus must stop; otherwise, traffic on both sides of the street must stop
The school year is just around the corner, so let’s do our part and watch for buses with the new system and give them lots of space for safety.
Let’s play a collective role to prevent speeding and distracted driving in our community, because no child or person’s life is worth the risk.
With the beautiful weather still upon us, I hope that you enjoy the remaining days of summer break and am wishing everyone a safe and successful school year.