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Medavie Health Services West is reminding parents and drivers to be careful as the start of a new school year approaches.

“This is an exciting time of year for our kids, and one where we all need to be extra vigilant when it comes to safety,” Troy Davies, director of public affairs, said in a news release.

“The added congestion on our streets that accompanies the end of summer vacations and the return to school, coupled with the fact that younger children have limited experience with traffic and are easily distracted, means motorists need to be extra cautious and patient while driving.”

Medavie advises to give yourself plenty of extra time to arrive and to follow these important safety rules:

  • Be aware of school zone signage and slow down in school zones
  • Be ready to stop at all times. Children do not always notice oncoming traffic
  • Try to make eye contact with children waiting to cross the road
  • Be patient and allow children to complete their crossing before proceeding
  • Stop when directed to do so by a crossing guard

Medavie also says to practice the most direct route to school with your children and teach them to be safe at intersections and bus stops.