Seskeha/August 31, 2016
This time of year marks the return of thousands of children to school in Akwesasne. The Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service would like to remind everyone to be diligent as our children return to their arrival and departure from school routines. Motor vehicle collisions (MVC) remain a leading cause of injury and we aim to decrease the likelihood of school travel related MVC’s and pedestrian injury with some helpful safety tips. Here are a few of the top tips for drivers and parents:
- Drivers need to be alert and obey the school safety zone regulations, including speed limits and a general awareness that there are small vulnerable and distracted children around schools, routes to schools, and bus stops. Traveling greater than 30-40 km per hour increases the likelihood of driver error and decreased reaction times.
- Drivers have to always stop for a school bus. Drivers traveling in both directions must stop when approaching a school bus that has its upper red lights flashing. Ontario fines for not stopping are: First Offense-$400 to $2000 and six demerit points, Second Offense-$1000 to $4000, six demerit points and possible jail time up to six months.
- Drivers are encouraged to decrease distractions behind the wheel, as well.
- Distracted driving is a leading cause of death on Ontario roads. We need to turn our music down, our phones off, and eat our breakfast before we get behind the wheel to help keep our distractions behind the wheel limited.
- Education makes a difference. Parents, please teach your children about school bus safety. Remind them to walk, never run around the school bus zones, to look both ways before crossing, to walk at least 10 steps in front of the bus along the side of the road, and to look to the bus driver for the safe to cross signal before doing so.
- Pedestrian safety is also essential to and from school. Please make sure everyone walking is wearing bright visible clothing in daylight. As our days become shorter, the only way to be seen by motorists is to have reflective elements on your clothing to provide a 360 degree field of vision for drivers to see pedestrians. For cyclists, please ensure you have your helmet on, properly fitted, and reflective tape on your bike as well as your clothing.
For children under the age of eight either walking or riding a bike, we recommend that they are accompanied by an adult on their entire route to and from school and that they are educated on all safe routes before school starts.
Some Areas Where Motorists Should be Cautious for children getting on and off School Buses:
- Designated Bus Stops
- Intersections, curves, and stop signs
- Truck Stop #9
- Mohawk Council of Akwesasne “Justice” Building
- Snye Recreation
- Snye Fire Station
- Jock’s Store
- Peace Tree Mall
Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service Chief of Police Jerry Swamp states “Whether driving or walking, please be alert, follow the road safety laws, and help us keep our kids safe.”
Released by: Cpl. Cynthia Lord
Contact: Chief Jerry Swamp