October 17, 2011 – OTTAWA � The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), the country’s largest sponsor of school safety programs, is pleased to join schools and other safety partners across Canada in celebrating bus safety week.
Bus safety week is a great opportunity for parents, students, and motorists alike to refresh on bus safety practices,” said Jeff Walker, CAA vice president, public affairs. “With an increase in pedestrian and vehicle traffic around school zones across Canada, it is crucial that we all follow a few simple safety guidelines to help keep our communities safe.”
CAA is proud to have been a supporter of school safety programs, which include Bus Safety Patrollers, since their inception in the late 1920s. CAA remains the largest sponsor of the program and CAA Patrollers dedicate more than five million hours annually to ensure that their fellow students commute to and from school safely.
“The School Safety Patrol program is not only important for teaching safety, but also allows students to learn about principles such as leadership, citizenship, and volunteering,” Walker said.
According to a recent CAA survey, over 70% of Canadians view the program as a valuable tool for teaching young people about the importance of volunteering.
Bus Safety Patrollers are trained to keep students safe whether they’re riding or getting on and off the bus. In order to ensure everyone’s bus ride to and from school is as safe as possible, here are some helpful tips to follow.
Safety tips for students who take the bus:
- Wait for the bus in a safe place that is a good distance back from the side of the road.
- Follow the instructions of the bus operator.
- Remain seated while the bus is in motion.
- Always keep personal items and your body inside the bus � do not put objects out the window.
- Keep the aisle clear of objects.
- Wait until the bus and any other vehicles have come to a complete stop before crossing the street
Safety tips for motorists:
- If you see a bus slowing down, be prepared to stop (aim to be 5 metres from the stopped bus ).
- When school bus lights are flashing, traffic must stop in both directions, unless on a physically divided road.
- School buses must come to a complete stop at all railroad crossings, but cars are allowed to proceed as long as it is safe to do so � it’s still a good idea to slow down.
For more information on the CAA School Safety Patrol program, please contact your local CAA Club or visit CAA.ca.
About the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)
The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) is a federation of nine clubs providing more than 5.6 million members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection www.caa.ca