Police Remind Residents of the Importance of School Safety

Waterloo Region, Ontario – Waterloo Regional Police want to remind the community to make safety a top priority as kids and students head back to the classroom.

Elementary and high school students, as well as teachers, will start a new academic year on September 5, 2017, and all drivers are reminded to watch out for children walking and biking to school. Drivers are also reminded of their obligation to stop in both directions for school buses when they see overhead red warning signals and a flashing stop sign.

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to promote safety with their children and remind them to stay alert while on the school bus and while walking or biking. They are also encouraged to:

• Plan a safe route to and from school
• Cross at designated crosswalks with the walk signal
• Stop in both directions for a school bus with lights flashing
• Establish a plan for school pickup by family or friends

This year, Waterloo Regional Police are encouraging parents and children to take part in a “Walk the Chalk” event. Take time on the days leading up to September 5 to go outside and write safety messages along your school route with chalk for students to see and read as they walk to school on the first day. We are also encouraging students and parents to take part in our social media campaign (#bts2017) by sending us their own safety messages in the form of a drawing or video via Twitter (@WRPSToday), Facebook (@waterlooregionalpolice) or Instagram (officialwrps).

Project Safe Semester - Waterloo Regional Police will once again take part in Project Safe Semester, a campaign that promotes the safety and well-being of University and College students. The campaign will run from August 30, 2017 to September 30, 2017 and will include several Door Knocker campaigns in the neighbourhoods surrounding the Universities. The campaign is done in collaboration with Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo campus police, Conestoga College, City of Waterloo By-law and the Waterloo Fire Department.

“Our officers will be out monitoring public disorder incidents and discouraging unlawful and unsafe behaviour while encouraging respect for the community,” said Bryan Larkin, Chief of Police. “We want everyone to have an enjoyable start to the school year and we are here to ensure they do that in a safe and respectful way.”

Post-Secondary students are encouraged to:
• Lock their doors
• Don’t let anyone into a building that they don’t know
• Walk in groups whenever possible
• Cross roads at designated locations in accordance with traffic signals
• If consuming alcohol, drink responsibly and plan ahead to ensure your safe arrival and return

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 a top priority throughout the school year.

Media Inquiries:
Cherri Greeno, Media Relations Coordinator
Waterloo Regional Police Service
(519) 650-8500 ext. 8773

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