Time to be extra careful
BY ANGELA BROWN
Staff Play it safe on the roads, stresses the Stormont-DundasGlengarry Ontario Provincial Police detachment as it reminds drivers to be extra cautious as students return to school.
Classes at French- language schools resumed August 30 while English-language schools will start September 6.
Police ask drivers to remember to slow down when driving in school zones and always stop for a school bus when its lights are flashing or they will face stiff fines.
“Drivers are reminded to be attentive as students of our communities return to school,” said detachment Commander Inspector Mike Mulhearn. “Safety is everyone’s responsi- bility so be aware of pedestrians and school buses.” When drivers see a stopped school bus with its overhead red signal-lights flashing, they must stop before reaching the bus and not pro- ceed until the bus moves or the overhead red signal-lights have stopped flashing, according to the Highway Traffic Act. The minimum fine for failing to stop for a stopped school bus is $400.
Motorists also need to stop when a school-crossing guard raises a hand-held stop sign signalling children are crossing. Drivers must wait until the entire roadway is clear before proceeding, in accordance with this year’s new Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) regulations.
The SDG OPP related drivers should watch for Community Safety Zones, where speed limits are reduced and fines increased. Community Safety Zones are clearly marked with road signs and are found near schools.
Drivers should be cautious since there will be more children on the streets as activity increases when classes resume.
As the days become shorter heading into the Fall, parents should also ensure their children wear light- coloured or reflective clothing at dusk so drivers can easily see them when they are crossing the road.
The OPP related there will be more police present on the roads for the start of school year, ensuring drivers follow the rules of the road and youngsters stay safe going to and from school.
“Adjust your driving, pay attention and be prepared to stop for children and school buses. Please do your part in making ‘Back to School’ safe for everyone,” added Const. Joel Doiron, local community services and media relations officer.
BONNE RENTRÉE: At Ecole élémentaire publique Terre des Jeunes in Alexandria Tuesday, Principal Hélène Hudon welcomes grade 6 pupil Madison MacRae.