Two Cents Worth

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Can’t believe it’s September already.

I am sure we have lots of summer left but the whole year is going by so quickly we will be saying, “Where did 2016 go?”

Parents will be thrilled Labour Day Weekend is upon us. Some kids will also be glad to be going back to school, making new friends or renewing old friendships. It’s an exciting time. Others may not be quite as elated.

Just like the end of the school year the beginning of a new school year is a safety concern for all of us. Did you know it is reported 30 children are killed and 2,400 seriously injured on the road during a typical school year? It’s a critical concern for all of us - parents, children, police, bus drivers, and all of us driving the roadways. We each need to do our part to keep our children safe.

Remember all those excited little kids will forget everything they have learned, for a few days anyway. They will be running and jumping and not paying attention. We need to be cautious, understanding and diligent on their behalf.

Those insolent teenagers who walk three or four abreast out onto the road need our consideration, attentiveness and wisdom. It can’t be that long ago that you have forgotten when you were that age, full of self-importance; when you were invincible, always right and everyone else was stupid?

Be on alert for the signals on the buses. Buses are huge, brightly coloured with lots of big, flashing lights. You can spot one a mile away. There is no excuse to not be aware of them on the highway. If you are in a hurry, take a different route because you know buses stop often and passing is extremely dangerous. Watch for signals if you are approaching or following a bus. As an added incentive remember if you do not obey bus signals it’s a $400 fine and loss of six demerit points for a first offence.

Everyone has rules and if we all follow them no one should get hurt.

Children must walk on sidewalks or off the road if there are no sidewalks, cross at intersections, wear a helmet if biking and always walk bikes across a road. If there are no signals at an intersection, always stop before entering the travelled part of the road, look in both directions before crossing, listen for traffic and only cross when the road is clear. Always walk across the road and never run out and try to beat a vehicle.

If you are crossing with signals always wait for the walk signal, stop, look and listen for traffic, watch for vehicles who may be turning, then walk, don’t run, across when the road is clear.

The grown ups behind the wheel also have rules. Obey bus signals when approaching or following a bus. Be aware of school zone signage, slow down in school zones and always be ready to stop because you know children don’t always pay attention. Be patient as the children cross and make eye contact. Obey the crossing guards’ directions.

If we all do our part no child needs to be hurt or killed on our roads this school year. I think it’s worth the time and effort.



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