5 Driving Habits You Need to Get into for School Opening
In Alberta, the beginning of the school year has begun and is well underway. With students back to classes comes an increase in vehicle traffic, pedestrians, and cyclists. To help ensure the safety of families and individuals on the road, we’ve created this guide on good driving habits to adopt for the school year and for all seasons.
1. Get Familiar with Your Area’s Traffic Lights and Street Signs
To improve road safety, drive through your neighbourhood when there is little to no traffic and get to know the traffic lights, crosswalks, and any potential blind spots. This will help you anticipate possible hazards and prevent accidents.
As a driver, you are required to follow all street signs. Failing to do so can lead to a traffic violation that can increase your car insurance premiums.
2. Follow Best Practices in School and Playground Zones
When driving in school or playground zones, it’s mandatory for drivers to lower their vehicle speed to match the maximum speed posted on the sign, typically 30km/h unless otherwise posted.
A school or playground zone also prohibits drivers from passing or attempting to pass another vehicle travelling in the same direction when the zone is in effect. Avoid double parking in a school zone as this blocks visibility for other children and vehicles and be on alert for children who are waiting to cross the road.
3. Be Attentive
During pick up and drop off times, school zones can quickly become congested and busy. There can be a lot going on with children crossing the road, students loading in and out of vehicles and buses, as well as parents on bikes picking up their child. Be extra attentive during busy school hours, slow your speed, and watch for families crossing.
4. Eliminate Distractions While Driving
Distracted driving has become the number one cause of fatal crashes in Canada. It’s important to put away any distractions, including mobile devices, food, and drink when driving in a school zone and as a general rule on the road.
If you absolutely need to answer a call or text, it’s best to stop and park to avoid a serious accident. In Alberta, a distracted driving violation leads to a fine, 3 demerit points, and an increase in your auto insurance premiums.
5. Yield to School Buses
A school bus that has a stop sign extended and red lights activated indicates that children are getting off of the bus. It is illegal for vehicles to pass and doing so in Alberta can cost you a fine of $543 and 6 demerit points.
The Bottom Line
To help students, educators, and families stay safe as they head to school, every motorist on the road has an important role to play. Focus on safe driving by following signs, traffic measures, and the rules of the road.
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