Safe Travel Week and Bike to School Week kept everyone pretty busy at Norseman JMS last week. While school staff was encouraging active travel by giving ballots for a chance to win a prize to every student who rode a bike or scooter to school, parent volunteers were busy educating other parents!
Safe Travel Week is a pilot campaign organized by the school’s Traffic Committee to raise awareness about road safety and reduce traffic congestion around the school. As part of the campaign, teachers helped the Traffic Committee conduct a travel survey to better understand how students get to and from school.
“We are trying to educate drivers about road and pedestrian safety as well as no-parking zones around the school,” says Emily Polson of the Traffic Committee.
During the week long campaign, community volunteers and Toronto Police joined forces to run daily traffic safety blitzes, which caught some drivers by surprise!
“Much of the unsafe driving around schools takes place during pick-up and drop-off times and ironically is caused by the parents who believe that there are too many drivers out there for kids to walk safely, so they feel like they have to drive them,” says Julie Chisholm, one of the organizers”.
Increasing safety during drop-off and pick-up times was achieved, in part, by clear signs indicating where to park and where not to park!
“Bike, scoot or walk to school if you can. If your parents need to drive you, make sure they do so safely,” says local Trustee Pamela Gough, who came to observe the initiative.
Although Safe Travel Week and Bike to School Week are officially over, raising awareness about active transportation and safe driving habits requires an ongoing effort.
In the fall, Norseman’s Traffic Committee is planning an even bigger campaign and the message will, once again, be loud and clear: drive safely!