London police talk safety for students and drivers as school year begins

The 2019-2020 school year for TVDSB elementary and secondary school students begins on Tuesday September 3rd, 2019. Billy Shields/Global News

Summer flew by fast, and elementary and secondary school students across the city are returning to school on Tuesday.

With an influx of pedestrians and drivers expected to be out on the roads, London police are reminding everyone to be safe.

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Const. Sandasha Bough first warns drivers to “be aware.

“These kids may be darting out across the street, possibly not paying attention to drivers just because of the excitement of going back to school,” Bough said.

Another major concern for police is drivers getting distracted by cellphones. Bough never wants to see drivers texting or calling on a handheld device unless it’s operated handsfree.

READ MORE: The benefits of getting kids in a back to school schedule

When driving in school zones, be aware of speed limits and crosswalks, and always keep an eye out for pedestrians as well as other vehicles. Bough says there’s one particular aspect of back-to-school safety that police often find drivers forget about.

“When it comes to school buses, always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading children, and watch out for school bus crossing guards and obey their signals.”

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On top of road safety for drivers, Bough has a few additional children’s safety tips for parents and kids to review together:

  1. Practise the route to school with parents.
  2. Always go straight home after school, don’t go anywhere else without permission.
  3. Use sidewalks.
  4. When crossing streets, always cross at a marked crosswalk, preferably one with a crossing guard on duty.
  5. Wear bright clothing to be easily seen by drivers.
  6. Always walk with a buddy if you can.
  7. Don’t talk to strangers.
  8. Speak to an adult right away if anything uncomfortable occurs.

Drivers can expect an increase in police presence on the roads during the first day of school, “just to make sure the roads are safe,” says Bough.

WATCH: Ask an Expert — Back To School Safety

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Ask an Expert: Back To School Safety – Sep 1, 2019

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