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As Labour Day approaches, so to does the start of another school year. The OPP wants to remind drivers a few days ahead of the return to the classroom to reacquaint themselves with sharing the road with students and school buses.
Province-wide, more than 800,000 students will be heading back to class on Wednesday, crossing roads, getting on and off school buses and walking and biking to and from school.
"All too often, drivers let their guard down in school zones during the summer months and with kids heading back to school, and it is important that drivers maintain an acute sense of awareness and expect the unexpected when driving near schools and in neighbourhoods where school buses and school kids are present," the OPP said Sunday in a release issued to media across Ontario.
"Motorists also need to be mindful that more and more youths are texting and talking on cell phones as they travel to and from school and as such, they are likely to be more inattentive and unaware of their surroundings. Using cell phones while driving is against the law and particularly dangerous in and around school zones where kids are walking and may also be distracted with their cell phones."
The following are a few key safety tips to get drivers and school kids off to a safe start as the school year begins:
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Always stop and never pass a school bus when its upper alternating red lights are flashing, regardless of whether you are behind the bus or approaching it from the front.
Reduce your speed and always keep a safe distance behind school buses as they make frequent stops. .
Always stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and school crossings and obey crossing guards at all times.