Mississauga roads will get busier once again as thousands of students, from pre-school to college and university, head back to school starting Tuesday, September 5. Students will be walking, riding their bikes and scooters, taking school buses or MiWay buses, and being driven to and from school. The City of Mississauga reminds all road users to stay alert and be aware when using roads to help prevent collisions.
“I urge all road users to remain attentive and take precautions to prevent collisions during the busy travel periods. Our students deserve to be safe in and out of the classroom,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “As a driver, slow down and watch for students, especially in school zones, and stop for school buses when you see their red lights flashing. If you’re a student, stay alert and be aware while making your way to and from school. Remember, stay safe and have a great first day back!”
The City has more than 215 school crossing guards at more than 160 locations who will be ready on the first day of school to help elementary school students cross the road safely. The City’s Mississauga School Traffic Safety Action Committee conducts site inspections and safety reviews at or near schools on request to help improve student safety at any school location.
“We’re continuing to work towards our commitment of achieving Vision Zero in Mississauga and keeping students safe on our roads,” said Geoff Wright, Commissioner of Transportation and Works. “This year so far, we’ve placed speed cameras in 38 school zones to help combat speeding on our roadways. On high-speed City roadways, we’ve lowered speed limits from 70 km/h to 60 km/h to help reduce the risk of collisions and make City roads safer for all users. We’ve also started to implement Pedestrian and Bike Head Start Signals at intersections to give pedestrians and cyclists a five-second head start to cross the road before vehicles.”
The City also has a School Walking Routes program that promotes active travel, such as walking, biking or using a mobility device, to and from school. School Route signs installed around the neighbourhood guide students on their way to school and alert drivers to watch for children.
Safety tips for families who walk, cycle or take a bus to school:
- Plan and practise your school route as a household ahead of time, including safe places to cross the street.
- When possible, always use crosswalks or crossrides to cross the street. Walk your bike or scooter across roads when no crossrides are available.
- Look both ways before you cross the road to make sure the intersection or crosswalk is clear of vehicles.
- If your route to school is near a railway crossing, make sure to follow all railway-crossing safety rules.
- When waiting for a school bus or MiWay bus, stand back from the curb and don’t approach the bus until it comes to a full stop.
- Follow the instructions of your school crossing guard.
- Wear a helmet when biking, skateboarding or riding your scooter to and from school and obey all signs, laws and signals.
Safety tips for drivers:
- Be alert, obey the posted speed limits, and follow the rules at drop-off and pick-up locations to help keep everybody safe.
- When stopping or parking for school drop-off or pick-up, do not block sightlines near crosswalks or intersections. Never pick-up or drop-off in a spot where your student must cross the road between stopped cars.
- Look out for students walking or rolling, especially when turning and in areas with many stopped cars.
- At stop signs, drivers are required to come to a complete stop and yield the appropriate right-of-way before proceeding through the intersection. This includes the stop sign held by a school crossing guard.
- At crossings, check the entire crosswalk for pedestrians and cyclists, and do not proceed until they have completed the crossing.
- Stop for school buses and don’t attempt to pass them. Do not go until the red lights stop flashing.
- Avoid distractions when driving including looking at your phone or drinking coffee.
- Consider leaving the car at home. If you normally drive to the bus stop, consider walking instead. If you must drive, consider driving partway and walking the rest of the way to reduce congestion and improve safety in front of the school.