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Back to School

It's that time of year when young children will be crossing streets on their way to and from school. Courtesy and safe driving practices are of the utmost importance in school zones.

We wish to remind motorists of the following safety tips:

  • Slow down when pedestrians are present
  • Watch for crossing guards and be prepared to stop
  • When stopping for a crossing guard, keep a full car length back

Parents driving their children to school

  • Do not park unless it is absolutely necessary and leave once your child is on school property so other parents are able to drop off their children, do not loiter on school property
  • Use "Kiss and go," it frees up space for the next parent
  • Park legally to ensure the safety of others
  • If possible, consider car-pooling

Parents walking with their children

  • Set a good example for your children by crossing with the crossing guard if one is provided
  • Where no crossing guard is provided, have children look both ways and help them decide when it is safe to cross the road. This will help to develop their judgment skills.
  • Parents should always consider walking; it provides health benefits for your children and improves the environment by eliminating emissions

Children walking on their own

Crossing Guard and children

Parents should remind children to:

  • Go to a crossing guard location, if one is provided
  • Obey the crossing guard at all times, including the three-whistle policy
  • Look both ways for safe gaps in traffic where there is no crossing guard provided
  • To ensure safety, do not send children to school prior to the commencement of the school crossing guard's scheduled times

School location signs

  • School Zone signs, with the pentagon shape (point on top), are advance signs to warn motorists to be alert to young pedestrians and drive with caution.
  • Rectangular School Crossing signs indicate a supervised crossing where motorists must obey the adult crossing guard when they hold up the STOP paddle.
  • At various school crossings, where student patrollers control the students by holding them back until safe gaps in traffic are present, motorists must be cautious and courteous at all times.
  • Remind children and parents that when there is no crossing guard on duty at a posted crossing location it offers no added protection, meaning, that motorists are not legally obligated to stop and children must look both ways and wait for safe gaps in traffic.

Should you observe any motorists speeding or parking illegally, creating hazards, especially in school areas, please record their licence plate number and other details and report them using the Durham Region Police Services Road Watch Form.

Clarington's Planning Services Department administers the Adult Crossing Guard program. We make sure that all school locations are visited frequently to ensure safety, while determining with the Traffic Coordinator, if there is a need for new Adult Crossing Guards.

With your co-operation and safety of everyone in mind, we can provide our children safe routes to school.


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