August 31, 2021
Starting the week of September 7, thousands of Mississauga students, from kindergarten to post-secondary, are returning to school for in-person learning. Roads will be busy with students walking, riding their bikes, taking a bus or being driven to school, and it’s important that all road users remain alert when using roadways to prevent collisions.
“It’s been a very long and exhausting year for many families, and our students need to feel safe as they return to a new school year,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Children’s movements can be unpredictable and it’s important that drivers are alert and slow down around school bus stops and near schools. We encourage those who are able to walk or bike to school to do so, to help reduce congestion and create safer environments outside our schools. For all the Mississauga students heading back to school – have a great first day and stay safe.”
The City has more than 200 school crossing guards who will be ready on the first day of school. They will help students safely cross the streets at designated school crossings and remind drivers that there are pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross the road.
“Speeding, especially in neighbourhoods and school zones, is a real problem in Mississauga,” said Pat Saito, Ward 9 Councillor and Chair of the Road Safety Committee. “Our Road Safety Committee has been working on several speeding education campaigns to show how important it is to slow down and be alert on roadways, especially during this time of year. We are urging those who are driving to or dropping a student off at school, to be alert, obey the posted speed limits and follow the rules at drop-off and pick-up locations to help keep everybody safe.”
In 2021, the City began its Neighbourhood Area Speed Limit Project which includes lowering speed limits in school zones from 40 km/hr to 30 km/hr. To date, there have been changes made to 101 school zones which include 93 community safety zones.
“We’re continuing to work towards our commitment to achieving Vision Zero in Mississauga,” said Geoff Wright, Commissioner, Transportation and Works. “This year, to combat speeding and stunt driving on our roadways, we’ve installed Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) cameras in four school zones with an additional 20 ASE cameras planned for installation by the end of 2021. We’ve also lowered speeds in all neighbourhoods and school zones across Mississauga through our Neighbourhood Area Speed Limit Project, redesigned our Slow Down lawn signs and introduced more traffic calming measures.”
The City has two safety advisory committees, Road Safety Committee and Traffic Safety Council. The Road Safety Committee helps raise awareness of road safety programs and initiatives to residents while Traffic Safety Council helps to provide a safe environment for students in and around schools.
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 waiting for a school bus or public transit, stand back from the curb and don’t approach the bus until it comes to a full stop.
- Make sure to look both ways before you cross the road at an intersection, crosswalk or with a crossing guard.
- Wear a helmet when biking, skateboarding or scootering to 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.
- Look out for students, 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.
- At crossings, check the entire crosswalk for pedestrians and cyclists, and do not proceed until they have completed the crossing.
- Stop if a school bus has flashing red lights and an extended stop arm to allow students to get on or off the bus and cross the road.
- 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.
For more road safety information and additional safety tips, please visit: mississauga.ca/roadsafety