School Traffic Safety
Getting your child to and from school safely
Walk or bike to school
- Arrange for your children to walk in a group or with a buddy. For families with busy schedules, check out our Walking School Bus page to learn more about pedestrian buses.
- Students riding bicycles, scooters and/or skateboards are reminded that they must wear a helmet and follow all traffic laws and by-laws. Inquire about bicycle training courses in your area including CAN-BIKE and Cycling into the Future.
- Check your school’s rules around riding scooters or skateboards on school property.
- Try walking to school at least once a week. Encourage your school to sign up for the STEP IN – Weekly Walk & Roll Program. Schools can register here to gain access to valuable resources.
- Plan your route to make use of adult crossing guards. Consult your local municipality for crossing guard locations and times.
Park a few blocks from school and walk from there
Carpool with neighbours
Ride the bus or use public transit
- Don’t rush. Plan ahead and allow enough time to get your child to school.
- Drop off your child on the school side of the street so that your child doesn’t have to cross the street
- Yield to children walking and biking around the school.
- Stop for crossing guards and school buses when the flashing lights and stop arms are out.
- Pay attention. Do not text or use your hand held mobile phone while driving. It is the law.
- Do not double park or let your car idle, as this increases traffic around the school and pollutes the air.
- Do not park in or block private driveways and confirm with business owners if the use of their parking lots is acceptable.
- Know and obey the speed limits and traffic signs in the area.
Why are there “no stopping” or “no parking” zones around schools?
Vehicles that are stopped or parked illegally near schools when children are being picked up or dropped off can cause high traffic volumes and poor visibility, which can create a serious safety hazard. No Stopping zones, designated by signage and by-law, are in place around schools to prevent hazardous driving behaviours. Municipal by-law enforcement officers and the Waterloo Regional Police Service regularly enforce these zones to ensure the safety of children accessing the school. It may be a small inconvenience to park in a safe place away from the school, but it could prevent a needless collision.
Student safety is everyone’s responsibility. Please report infractions to municipal by-law enforcement officials.
- City of Cambridge
- City of Kitchener
- City of Waterloo
- Township of North Dumfries
- Township of Wellesley
- Township of Wilmot
- Township of Woolwich
Why do schools close their driveways/parking lots to student pick-up/drop-off?
Many schools have closed their driveways and parking lots during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times. Generally they are closed to protect student safety. Many school parking lots are not designed with drop-off areas and parking spaces are limited. The lanes in parking lots are not for dropping off students as it is unsafe and unsupervised area.
It is also important to keep driveways and lanes clear for buses and emergency vehicles.
Please speak with your school’s principal to learn more about the use of school parking lots for pick-up and drop-off.
Kiss and Ride programs
Kiss and Ride programs, when used and operated properly, can sometimes provide an alternative to parking on municipal streets or in school parking lots. Not all school sites are designed with a Kiss and Ride program in mind – there needs to be a designated area on the school site separate from the bus loading/unloading location so there is no conflict with the two operations. Kiss and Rides work best for drop-off, but can be very challenging for pick-up.
Before proposing a Kiss and Ride program, first consider the reasons why people are choosing to drive in the first place. Can car drop-offs be reduced? Check out our information about School Travel Planning and how school travel planning initiatives may result in parents driving their children less.
Please respect our neighbours!
We kindly ask you to respect our neighbours’ property. Please do not park in or block residential driveways. Please do not use residential driveways to turn around in. Be a model citizen for your children, treat others’ property as you would like your own to be treated!
School Traffic Safety Maps
Annually, the Cities of Kitchener and Waterloo produce school traffic safety maps that highlight crossing guard and safety patrol locations. Please consult our Maps page for your school’s traffic safety map.
The Region of Waterloo’s website provides information about how to use a roundabout, understanding roundabout signage, roundabout safety, frequently asked questions and education videos.
Guide to Ride
Free cycling-focused lesson plans for grades 4 – 6, provided by Physical and Health Education Canada
Move Think Learn – Cycling in Focus
Geared towards grades 4 – 9, this Physical and Health Education Canada resource provides lesson plans that demonstrate how cycling strategy, tactics and skills can be transferred to other sports
CAA’s Bike Safety
This website provides a wealth of resources on bike safety, including selecting appropriate bike equipment, riding skills and tips and bike maintenance and care.
Ministry of Transportation’s Young Cyclists Guide
A cycling guidebook, designed for youth, providing information on bicycle equipment, riding tips and rules of the road.
Peel Region’s Bike Rodeo Community Kit
A “how-to” guide for establishing a Bike Rodeo in your community.