Police urge caution as students head back to school

London police and OPP are reminding the public that road safety is a shared responsibility as students head back to school.

On Tuesday, thousands of young students return to the classroom as school resumes.

Officers are warning drivers to be attentive on area roadways in preparation for the upcoming school year.

Drivers can expect to see a noticeable influx in pedestrian traffic on and near the roadways throughout the region.

The OPP Traffic Management Unit and municipal OPP patrol officers will focus heavily leading up to and especially during the first week of school on the safe operation of vehicles in and around area schools.

Motorists will notice an increased police presence in our communities, with a zero tolerance towards excessive speed, aggressive, distractive and impaired driving.

The public is encouraged to assist police in identifying those drivers operating in a dangerous manner by contacting the OPP Provincial Communication Center at 1-888-310-1122 or 911 in an emergent situation.

Parents are encouraged to review safety rules with their children to assist with safe travel plans both to and from school.

Safety tips for students:

  • Walk on sidewalks where available
  • Cross at intersections - Stop, look and listen for traffic -
  • Look in all directions before crossing
  • Walk, don't run
  • Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle
  • Walk your bicycle when crossing at an intersection
  • Review school bus boarding and departing rules with your child

Safety tips for drivers:

  • Motorists are reminded to be alert and patient, especially in school zones where children will be boarding and departing school buses and crossing roadways.
  • Reduce speed in school zones
  • Be prepared to stop at all times - Children do not always notice vehicular traffic
  • Be mindful of school buses and direction from crossing guards
  • Be attentive and free of any distractions
  • When approaching a school bus that has its overhead red signal-lights flashing, a driver shall stop at least 20 meters before reaching the bus and not proceed until the bus deactivates the red signal-lights
  • Be mindful of school crossing guards and obey their direction until all persons, including the school crossing guard, have cleared the roadway

During this back to school season police say they will be present in and around school zones to encourage and enforce rules of the road to protect pedestrian and driver safety.