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    School is back in session. Remember these safety tips 

    Created: Tuesday, August 29, 2023




    With the start of the new school year quickly approaching, Newmarket wants to make sure that everyone, from drivers to pedestrians, prioritize safety. Remind your children about these safety precautions before they travel to and from school. Additionally, drivers are urged to exercise caution as there may be an increase in foot, bicycle and vehicle traffic during the start of the new school year.  

    "Please keep safety top of mind as we head back to school this season. We all have a part to play in providing a safe environment for the children in our community," says Mayor John Taylor. "To further protect the community and help combat speeding, the Town is in the process of bringing Automated Speed Enforcement Cameras to school areas in Newmarket to curb speeding and protect our children." 

    Newmarket's traffic safety mascots, Safety Cone Sam and Belle the Bike, remind residents to keep the following safety tips in mind.     

    School zone safety tips  

    • Drive according to the posted speed limit in school and Community Safety zones.  
    • Familiarize yourself with common traffic signs that you may encounter in school zones.   
    • Pay attention while driving in school parking lots and be aware of children who may be walking or running in the lot or in between parked cars.  
    • Do not park or idle in drop-off/pick-up zones. Avoid stopping in front of schools to ease congestion and make roads safer for everyone.  

     

    Walking to school safety tips  

    • Always cross the street at school crossing guard locations or at intersections.  
    • Crossing guards ensure you and your children cross the street safely in school zones. Please remember to respect crossing guards and listen for the whistle and look for signals.   
    • Be patient and take your direction to walk from the pedestrian signals, not the lights.  
    • Be alert, pay attention to your surroundings and avoid using any mobile device or wearing headphones that will distract you while crossing the street.  
    • If you are not sure whether you have enough time to cross, don't take the chance – wait for the next signal.  

    Check out the Pedestrian Safety video to learn more!  
       

    Cycling to school safety tips  

    • Always wear your helmet and make sure it fits snuggly. By law in Ontario, anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet while cycling.   
    • Obey all road signs and follow the flow of traffic.  
    • Stay alert and keep your eyes on the road. Be aware of your surroundings and stay on the lookout for road hazards such as glass, sand and gravel.   
    • Know your hand signals to communicate with other motorists.   

    Check out the Cycling Safety video to learn more!  

     

    Motorist safety tips  

    • Do not drive distracted. Good drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.   
    • Watch out for pedestrians who may be walking against their signal.  
    • Be cautious when turning into any intersection and slow down on residential streets and school zones where children might be walking or playing.   
    • Be alert and use caution when approaching intersections, crosswalks and stopped transit buses.   

    School drop-off and pick-up zones  

    • Use drop-off and pick-up zones on designated school property – these are separate from school bus loading and unloading areas. Not all schools are designed with a drop-off and pick-up zone, please check with your child's school for more information.   
    • Do not park or leave your vehicle unattended in the drop-off and pick-up zone. These zones are designed to ease congestion and keep traffic moving in the mornings and afternoons.  

     

    Newmarket's Municipal Enforcement Officers will be visiting school zones in early September to remind motorists of the rules regarding parking near schools to help get everyone back into the routine and keep the streets safe and clear for students.  

    Report Aggressive Driving through York Regional Police's Road Watch Program   

    Report aggressive driving behavior (speeding, disobeying traffic lights and stop signs etc.) to York Regional Police's Road Watch Program at yrp.ca/roadwatch. When submitting your report, you must include the licence plate of the vehicle and a description of what you saw and when/where you saw it happen. Please attach any photos or videos you may have. Contact Crime Stoppers if you would like to make an anonymous complaint.   

      

    The Town of Newmarket continues to implement transportation safety measures to slow down traffic while providing a safe and efficient environment for all. Be part of the solution. Keep your community safe by putting safety first. Do not speed, be aware of your surroundings, obey traffic rules and be safe and responsible. Learn more about the Town's Traffic Management Safety program at newmarket.ca/safetydriven. Find more safety tips at newmarket.ca/safetytips and by following Safety Cone Sam on social media.