Toronto police launch back-to-school safety blitz

As thousands of Toronto students head back to class Tuesday, Toronto police are warning motorists they will be on patrol in school zones watching for bad behaviour.

“Take care on our roads, slow down, watch for school buses and kids,” Sgt. Brett Moore with Toronto police traffic services tweeted early Tuesday.

In a press release, Moore added that the force is looking to “send a strong message to drivers” this week as they step up patrols in school zones. Officers will be watching for drivers who park illegally, speed, or drive distracted, aggressively or impaired around school zones.

The week-long safety blitz includes ‘no tolerance’ for violations, the release said.

“All road users need to consider the safety of our most vulnerable users – school children, pedestrians, and cyclists, when they are travelling on our roads,” the release said. “We all need to have the common goal of reaching our destinations safely each day.”

The back-to-school return to normal traffic volumes comes during a particularly tragic year so far on the city’s streets. A map of fatal collisions from the Toronto police traffic services division shows that 20 pedestrians have died in the city so far this year.

Meanwhile, in Peel, police have released a video with tips from a crossing guard for families sending their little ones off to school. Police want parents to teach their children to follow the crossing guard’s instructions. They are also reminding drivers that under the Highway Traffic Act, a crossing guard’s stop sign has “the same legal authority as a stop sign at an intersection.”

Drivers could be hit with a minimum $150 fine and three demerit points for failing to stop for a crossing guard.

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