The importance of road safety as students head back to school

With thousands of Mississauga students making their way back to school next week, the City wants to remind all residents to be alert and safe when using roadways. Drivers should be particularly alert and cautious around early childhood centres, elementary schools and high schools.

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Tips on being street smart for drivers:

• Avoid being distracted
• Follow the rules of the road
• Give yourself extra time to get to where you are going
• Obey all street signs and pedestrian crossings
• Obey crossing guards
• Avoid using cell phones while driving
• Slow down and drive cautiously, especially in school zones
• Watch for pedestrians

CURRENT CITY ROAD SAFETY INITIATIVES

• Crossing Guards: The City has more than 200 school crossing guards who will be ready on the first day of school to help students at designated crossings around Mississauga.

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• Please Slow Down Lawn Signs: Residents are encouraged to post a Please Slow Down lawn sign (produced by the City) to encourage safe driving habits and to lower vehicle operating speeds on neighbourhood streets. These signs are available at the Customer Service Counter at 3185 Mavis Rd. or through Councillor’s offices free of cost to residents who are interested.

• Traffic Calming: City staff are constructing traffic calming projects in two neighbourhoods to change driver behaviour. Staff are also implementing a number of passive traffic calming techniques in the form of white painted edge lines and a yellow centreline. These markings have proven successful in other areas by visually reducing the travelled width of the roadway making it less comfortable for motorists to increase their operating speeds.
 
• Pedestrian Crossover Pilot Project: The City recently announced its plans to build five new pedestrian crossovers in various neighborhoods and construction is currently underway. A pedestrian crossover is a type of crossing where by law, drivers are required to stop for pedestrians intending to cross the road. Crossovers allow pedestrians to cross roads safely and all have specific signs and pavement markings.

• Vision Zero: In early 2018, Council approved Vision Zero, a framework which focuses on the prevention of fatalities and injuries due to motor vehicle collisions. It is based on a system of shared responsibilities among all partners involved in the road system, including politicians, planners, police, community organizations, etc.

The City also has two safety advisory committees: Road Safety Committee and Traffic Safety Council.