Stay safe this school year

For Immediate Release: August 29, 2011

Waterloo Region, ON - As the new school year approaches, Waterloo Regional Police are reminding all members of the community to increase their awareness and level of caution as children return to school on Tuesday, September 6. Drivers are reminded to watch for children on foot and on bicycles as well as additional activity near bus stops and around school zones.
To encourage residents to keep safety in mind, police are providing the following tips:

Motorists:
• Leave plenty of time to reach your destination and adhere to speed limits.
• Watch for children crossing at designated and non designated locations.
• The use of cellular devices while driving is dangerous. If you require the use of the phone, either pull over or call hands-free. Failing to do so could result in $155 fine.
• Follow the rules of road and drive only when sober.

Cyclists:
• Remain aware of your surroundings and obey signs and signals.
• Ride according to the rules of the road.
• Use hand signals to communicate your intentions and use your bell or horn to signal your approach to pedestrians.
• Always wear a helmet regardless of age.
• Avoid wearing headphones or using electronic devices.

Pedestrians:
• Cross at areas designed to improve safety– (traffic signals, cross walks).
• Look both ways before crossing the roadway and do not enter the roadway until it is safe to do so.
• Be aware of potential restrictions to your sight line – (umbrellas, hoods, hats and parked cars).
• Make eye contact with drivers.
• Remove distractions such as headphones and electronic devices.

Drivers are also reminded of their obligation to stop in both directions for school buses when they see the red warning signals and the flashing stop sign. The fine for failing to stop for a school bus is $400.00
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to promote safety with their children. The start of school season is a great opportunity to review street-proofing tips and safety strategies with children.  Personal safety tips can be found at www.wrps.on.ca/stay-safe.
The Waterloo Regional Police Service is dedicated to ensuring the safety of all children. Together with parents, caregivers and our community partners, we can help make safety the top priority throughout the school year.

-30-

Media Inquiries:
Alana Holtom, Corporate Communications Coordinator
(519) 650-8500 ext. 8716

Inspector Greg Lamport, Executive Officer
(519) 650-8500 ext. 8713

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