Note – If you publish any of these in your school newsletter, please credit Green Action Centre in the following way:
Remember to Look Both Ways!
Walking to school is a great way to exercise and travel but do you sometimes question how safe it is for pedestrians before or after school? You can ease your mind with these helpful tips when you or your child cross the street.
- Make eye contact with the driver(s) to let them know you see them
- Wait until the car has stopped before you leave the curb to cross
- Cross the street as quickly as possible
- Watch for turning vehicles
- Do not cross at places where the ‘pedestrian prohibited’ sign is posted
- At a pedestrian corridor, push the button to show you wish to cross in addition to the steps above
To ensure a safe and happy trip to and from school, remember these tips and to look both ways!
Avoid the Traffic Circle Chaos
As you may have already noticed, the City of Winnipeg has installed traffic calming circles across the city, but if you are unsure how to use them, they may have you going in circles. Here are some helpful tips on what to do when you find one:
- Slow down as you near the intersection
- Stop before the sidewalk if pedestrians are crossing
- Yield to vehicles that arrive first and to vehicles to the right if meeting at the same time
- Keep right and travel in a counterclockwise direction around the circle.
Remember, safety is a priority and to take your time, especially around school zones. (For more tips on safe school transportation, visit the Active and Safe Routes to School section at www.GreenActionCentre.ca).
Stay Safe as You Walk
As a pedestrian, it’s important not to assume what a driver or their car will do in any given situation. Sliding through a stop sign, driving through a crosswalk or making a quick right turn can all be an accident waiting to happen. Make sure to teach your children to make eye contact with drivers if possible; to ensure they’ve been seen; to wait for cars to come to a complete stop before crossing the street; and of course, to look both ways.
The More Kids Walk, the Safer Our Streets
With many children being driven to and from school these days, having fewer eyes on the streets is becoming a major problem. What this means is that with fewer children walking, there are also less parents out keeping an eye on everyone else. An empty street is often thought of as being more dangerous, leading to potential abductions or accidents, and making it even less likely children will be encouraged to walk or cycle to school. Be a role model for your child in more ways than one by walking to school with them. Not only will you be modeling healthy daily physical activity but also safe pedestrian practices. Let’s renew the family enthusiasm for walking to school!
Start a Walking School Bus
A Walking School Bus can be a great way for children to safely walk to and from school and socialize along the way. Children are picked up by an adult volunteer and other fellow “bussers”, along a designated route developed within the neighborhood. Where Walking School Buses are implemented, safety becomes a community issue not just an individual parental concern. For more information on how you can start a Walking School Bus within your community, see http://greenactioncentre.ca/content/asrts-handbook-and-resource-guide/.
A great way for older children (Grade 5 and up) to walk to school in safety with their friends is by having Walking Buddies. Students who walk together look out for each other and enjoy the responsibility this entails. Review traffic and personal safety considerations regularly with your child and make sure there is a system in place to ensure they stay safe if their buddy is not available on a scheduled walking day.