OPP warns motorists to drive safe in school zones

Lennox and Addington OPP Cst. Shannon Cork and Cst. Steve Earle stand next to a bus that was parked at the SPC to remind drivers school is back in session this week. Photo by Adam Prudhomme.

Adam Prudhomme

School is back in session this week and Lennox and Addington OPP are out in full force to remind motorists and pedestrians to be safe.

School zones that have been mostly empty the last two months will now be bustling with activity pretty well every morning and afternoon throughout June. That means both drivers and students walking in these areas need to take extra care.

“Lennox and Addington County OPP are doing a back to school safety campaign,” said L&A County OPP Cst. Shannon Cork. “The first week is focusing on seat belts, school zones and the feeder routes that go into schools. The second week we’ll be at the school zones, focusing on traffic that’s coming into the schools.”

Students on foot have a responsibility as well to pay attention, not only for their own safety but to set an example for their younger peers. Just as distracted driving is a major problem, Cork says they’ve seen an increase in the number of people who don’t look before they cross a road, instead focusing on a screen or being unable to hear because they are listening to headphones.

“We encourage them to use crosswalks,” Cork said of people walking. “We want motorists to know that crosswalks that have a lighted crosswalk or a crossing guard, they have to wait until everybody has crossed the road and the crossing guard is back on the side of the road before they can go through that.”

This is also the time of year OPP remind drivers that it’s never safe to pass a school bus with flashing lights and stop sign extended.

“Sometimes people are distracted in thought and they don’t think to look ahead and see the symbol on the bus that says it’s stopping,” said Cork. “When that arm comes out, you can’t pass. There is a fine of $490.”

For students getting on and off the bus, they’re reminded to stay well in front of the bus to make sure the driver can see they are safely across.

If everyone does their part, it’ll keep everyone safe as they kick off another year of learning.

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