Back to School Safety Tips

October 2015

With school back in session roadways and sidewalks are more crowded. Toronto Police want to remind parents, students and motorists to be aware of proper safe practices in the city.


  • Do not pass a stopped school bus. Fines range from $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points for a first offence. Each subsequent offence is $1,000 to $4,000 and six demerit points with the possibility of up to six months in jail.
  • Motorists travelling in both directions must stop when approaching a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing.
  • Be aware of school zone signs. Reduce your speed in these areas.
  • Always attempt to make eye contact with children waiting to cross the road.
  • Be patient! Wait for children to complete their crossing before proceeding.
  • Stop when directed to do so by a crossing guard.
  • Slow down when approaching school drop off and pick up zones.

Walking to School or the Bus Stop

  • Plan a walking route to school or the bus stop in advance. Choose the most direct route with the fewest street crossings and, if possible, with intersections that have crossing guards.
  • Walk the route with your child beforehand. Tell them to stay away from parks, vacant lots and other places which are more isolated.
  • Children need to be shown, not just told, how to cross the road safely. Practice! Practice! Practice!
  • When possible, do not allow children to walk to school alone. Arrange for walking buddies such as a sibling, friend or neighbour.
  • Teach your children to avoid speaking with strangers. This includes accepting rides or gifts. Remind children that adults should only be asking other adults for help.

 Riding a Bicycle

  • Always wear a helmet that is correctly fitted and secured. The Active Transportation By Law states that anyone under 18 years old must wear an approved helmet when riding a bicycle, skateboarding, in-line skating or roller skating.

Driving Students to School

  • Always drop off or pick up children as close to the school as possible.
  • After dropping off children, watch to ensure they arrive safely in the schoolyard or building.
  • Follow rules provided by your school with respect to drop off and pick up zones. Do not remain in school zones for lengthy periods of time.

Bus Transportation

  • Arrive at the bus stop early and stay out of the street.
  • Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching the street.
  • Always watch for cars.
  • Do not bend down in front of a bus to tie shoes or pick up objects. The driver of the bus may not be able to see you.
  • Remain seated on the bus at all times. Keep head, arms and objects inside the bus.

This information is provided by Toronto Police Services.