Back to School Safety


The Ottawa Police Service reminds motorists and pedestrians to be aware of the increase of children and youth on city streets.  As school begins, please consider the following safety tips:

  • Reduce speeds in school zones and be ready to stop at any time. Children do not always notice oncoming traffic;
  • Obey school bus signals;
  • Watch for newly installed pedestrian crossovers, know how they work and obey them when in use;
  • Walk on available sidewalks;
  • Always cross at intersections, looking and listening for traffic and walk across only when road is clear and safe to do so;
  • Follow adult crossing guards, student crossing patrols and school bus operator’s signals; and,
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bike and walk your bike across a roadway.

“Our officers will be conducting speed enforcement initiatives in multiple school zones,” said A/S/Sgt. Felix Letellier, from Central District. “They will monitor those areas, as well as ensure compliance when a school bus stops and flashes its lights.”

Drivers are responsible for stopping in both directions, if on a road without a median, when they see a school bus stopped with its lights flashing. Fines for not obeying this law range from $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points.

“The return of children to school is always an adjustment for all road users,” said A/Sgt. Letellier.  “For everyone’s safety: drivers – make driving your number one priority; pedestrians and cyclists – be aware of your surroundings; and everyone – obey all rules of the road.”

September is School Bus/School Zone safety and Vehicle Occupant Restraint awareness month with the Safer Roads Ottawa Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP).

For more safety tips, go to Back to School Safety.