August 30, 2018: Cst Neilly’s Neighbourhood;
Back to school.
By Cst. Dawn Neilly, OPS.
One of my favourite topics throughout the year is kids. They’re vulnerable for all kinds of reasons. And with school starting in a few days, they’re my focus again – for all kinds of reasons.
Let’s start with kids outside. They’ll be going back and forth from home to school and playing outside and not necessarily watching where they’re going. Fast traffic and kids don’t mix well. Parents, you can teach your kids how to be careful when they’re out but the onus has to be on drivers to slow down and be ready for a quick stop, particularly arounds schools.
On the other hand, there is occasionally the driver who drives much more slowly than necessary looking for an opportunity to entice a child into their vehicle. While the likelihood of this happening is low, the possibility exists and it’s a good idea for kids to learn early on that getting into a vehicle with a stranger is an absolute no-no.
Let’s move to kids on the inside. Back to school can be an exciting time for kids who are thrilled to be starting a new grade. Most are happy to be back with their friends and to be involved in favourite school activities or starting new ones. It’s not such a happy situation, though, if a boy or girl is the target of a bully. Children may be reluctant to speak up if they feel threatened or picked on, so it’s up to parents and teachers to keep a close eye on those in their charge for signs that something is wrong.
And in our brave new world, we have to cope with ever-present technology – its advantages and disadvantages. It’s glitzy, it’s fast and begs us to act without considering the consequences. Keep track of your kids’ internet usage. If you want information on how to manage the combination of kids and technology, come see us at the Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington West. Or, Google it! That’s what your kids would do.
I hope the coming school year is a safe one for everyone!
[Ed: Did you know your community police officer also has a mailing list for sharing the latest neighbourhood watch info? Here is a recent email of interest;
With respect to safety for kids starting school, a reader requested clarification for driver responsibility when passing through an intersection with crossing guards present. The following is from the Ottawa Safety Council web site.
Crossing Guard Rules:
New in January 2016, drivers are not allowed to pass ANYWHERE through a crosswalk if there are children and/or a Crossing Guard in the crosswalk. This applies even if you the pedestrians have cleared the lane that you would like to proceed/turn through and to all crosswalks where a Crossing Guard is present, regardless of whether the roadway is two or four lanes. The only time this rule doesn’t apply is if the crosswalk itself is divided with a median (i.e., the median juts out into the crosswalk providing pedestrians a safe place to stop and observe if it is safe to proceed).
Drivers who break this rule could face a fine of up $500 and will lose 3 demerit points.
School Zone Speed Rules:
Often, speed limits on roadways are reduced during the morning and afternoon bell times in school zones. Speeding in school zones costs you more than speeding in other places. Fines are increased if you are caught speeding in a school zone by up to 60%. Not to mention that it will cost you 3 demerit points if you are caught going 20 km over the speed limit (i.e., 60km in a 40km school zone will cost you $180 and 3 demerit points).