With the last long-weekend of summer gone, the roads get busier with students returning to a new school year. Whether you travel by bus, car, bicycle or foot, increased vigilance should be practiced just now, officials suggest.
People are advised to go over safety procedures with their children that ensure a safe journey to and from school, advises Constable Ashley Dietrich of the Waterloo Regional Police.
“We’re just reminding all parents and caregivers to make sure that they talk to their children about walking to school safely,” she said.
Motorists should slow down and pay attention to the roads to contribute to the safety of school children. In the past several months there have been a number of collisions, Dietrich said, reminding drivers to share the road will all users.
Parents and their kids are also encouraged to participate in the Walk the Chalk campaign that focuses on leaving safety messages on sidewalks so that those with a walking route to school are reminded daily of those safety messages.
Waterloo Regional Police are also commencing an initiative called Project Safe Semester that is geared towards the community’s college and university students. The focus of the project reminds those students to lock their doors, secure their property, and to not let anyone into the student buildings that they’re not familiar with, explained Dietrich.
“A lot of people aren’t familiar with the surroundings or leave their items unattended and sometimes criminals could use this as a crime of opportunity and take advantage of students who are not securing their belongings or their apartments.”
To further ensure that the community is safe, residents should always take part in the neighbourhood watch to monitor any suspicious activity.
“Just take care of one another, notify the police,” Dietrich advises when suspicious activity is spotted.
Drivers are being reminded to be aware of the return of school buses to the roads, as well as to watch for children crossing when the school day starts and ends.
Woolwich Mayor Sandy Shantz points to the importance of crossing guards in maintaining student safety.
“The dedicated service of our crossing guards is vital to keeping our school children safe. They play an essential role in the communities they serve and the Township of Woolwich as a whole. We ask that driver will be mindful this September and drive cautiously around school,” she said in a release.
Be mindful of keeping the children in the community safe this school year by being extra cautious on the roads and in surrounding areas, officials note, suggesting parents create the conversation about safety. More tips and advice about road safety in the township can be found online at www.woolwich.ca or by calling 519-669-6009.