WRPS offers tips for a safe back-to-school next week

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The Waterloo Regional Police Service is reminding people to make safety their top priority as students head back to the classroom next week.

School starts on Sept. 7.

"It's going to be something that the community is not ready or exposed to for the past couple months," Sgt. Mark Hammer said.

Drivers are asked to pay special attention to students who are adjusting to new schedules, wearing masks and practicing physical distancing travelling to and from school and at bus stops. People should follow signs for speed limits, no stopping and no parking in school zones, police said.

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to talk to their children about safety and staying alert going to school.

Police also recommend:

  • Planning a safe route and practicing before school begins
  • Crossing at designated crosswalks with a walk signal
  • Stopping in both directions when school buses have their lights flashing
  • Following directions of crossing guards helping kids get across the
  • Working out a plan for school pick-up with family or friends

Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region said it is important for students to do a walk through with supervision first so they know basic traffic lights and road signs.

"If you practice it together, what you can or cannot do before the first day of school," said travel planner Leslie Maxwell.

Post-secondary students will also head back to school next month.

Students are encouraged to:

  • Lock their doors
  • Cover windows in bedrooms and bathrooms to maintain privacy
  • Not let anyone into their building who they don't know
  • Walk in groups whenever possible
  • Cross roads at designated locations and follow traffic signals
  • Consume alcohol and drugs responsibly
  • Report any suspicious activity to police immediately

Police said they will conduct high-visibility enforcement in school zones next week, targeting high-risk behaviours like speeding, failing to stop for school buses and disobeying crossing guards.