Walk safe, drive safe, be safe!
The Town of Aurora is promoting pedestrian and driver safety for children traveling to and from school. The Town has made available municipal lawn signs to remind drivers to be alert and drive slowly in and around school zones.
The Town of Aurora is pleased to be the first municipality in York Region to introduce a School Travel Planning policy. The policy was initiated by the Town’s Infrastructure & Environmental Services (Public Works) department and was endorsed by Aurora Town Council in late 2013.
What is School Travel Planning (STP)?
STP aims to increase the number of students choosing to commute to and from school using active modes of transportation. An increase in the number of students walking, skateboarding, cycling or carpooling to school helps address important issues related to physical activity, traffic congestion, air quality and neighbourhood safety.
What does this mean for Aurorans?
School Travel Planning provides a framework for Town staff when dealing with travel-related issues at schools and encourages safe, healthy, active travel to and from school.
The Town of Aurora reminds parents and children to walk safe! With less daylight at this time of year, please ensure you are visible to traffic, especially in the early morning and evening.
Tips on how to walk safe
Parents should teach children about pedestrian safety when walking them to school. In order to safely cross the street on their own, children need three important skills:
1. Be able to decide on a safe route to cross streets
2. Realistically assess a vehicle's speed
3. Judge safe gaps in traffic in order to cross the street
These skills are usually not developed until children are between age nine and 11. Supervise children who have not yet mastered these skills.
Teach your children to cross the road safely:
Stand well back on the sidewalk until ready to cross the street
Use crosswalks and intersections with crossing guards if available
Make sure vehicles travelling in all directions have come to a complete stop and the road has no visible moving traffic before crossing
Always make eye contact with the driver
Walk, do not run
Walk beside bikes or scooters; do not ride while crossing the road
Do not wear earphones or text while walking
Do you live within walking distance to school?
Choosing active transportation, such as walking to school, instead of riding in a vehicle has many benefits:
- Increased physical activity is not only needed for good health, but also helps mental well-being, reduces depression and anxiety levels and improves self-esteem
- Improved learning and concentration have been seen when students are active before coming to class
- Get to know your community by spending valuable time with family, friends and meeting your neighbours
- The short walk to and from school counts towards the daily physical activity children need to be active for health benefits
Source: The Regional Municipality of York
When travelling to school, be sure to cross the road at supervised, marked crossings and obey the crossing guard.
Drivers: Please be aware of school zones!
Reminder to drivers: Be alert when driving in a school community. Here are some drive safe recommendations:
- Observe all road signage
- Follow posted speed limits; school zones have reduced speeds so drivers can safely stop to allow children to cross the street
- Avoid U-turns, backing up and making three-point turns
- Watch for vehicles, pedestrians, bikes, scooters and stopped school buses
- Observe placement of crosswalks, traffic lights and road signage
This winter … Get active!
Aurora has more than 57 kilometres of pathways and trails, including the Nokiidaa and Oak Ridges Moraine Trails. The majority of our trails are multi-use, suitable for walking, hiking, jogging, cycling and cross-country skiing. Our trails offer a great way to see The Town of Aurora’s most scenic and natural areas.
Using our trails system also contributes to a healthy lifestyle and reduces traffic and pollution within our community.
Want to learn more about The Town of Aurora’s parks and trails system? Pick up a copy of our Streets, Parks & Trails map. Copies are available on a one-per-household basis from Aurora Town Hall or download a copy.