Promoting Road Safety for Everyone
A road safety public awareness campaign has launched to promote safe driving behaviours and make roads in North Grenville safer for all users. This year-long campaign will feature a different road safety topic each month such as, distracted driving, school bus safety, pedestrian crossovers, and driving without wearing a seatbelt.
Road Safety Themes for 2020:
September: Back to School Safety
As students begin another school year, Motorists should be prepared to slow down and stop for children and school buses. As more kids will be walking and riding their bikes to school, motorists should be watching for children, particularly at road crossings.
Safe Walking Route Maps: With more parents choosing to drive their children to school, drop off and pick up may be more hectic. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Public Health Unit along with their active school travel partners developed safe walking route maps families can use. If it isn’t feasible to walk the entire way, consider parking a block or two away from the school and walk the rest of the way. This will help relieve traffic and is a great way to be active.
Safe Route School Maps for the following schools are available for download:
School Zones and Community Safety Zones: Slowdown in school zones and be extra cautious. Motorists should watch for Community Safety Zones, where fines are doubled if caught speeding. Community Safety Zones are clearly marked with road signs and are located along Country Road 44, Concession Road and Clothier Street.
School Zone – A School Zone is an areas within 150 metres on either side of a school which has a lower speed limit during school hours.
Community Safety Zone - A Community Safety Zone is an area where public safety is of special concern, such as areas around schools. Fines are doubled if caught speeding in the area.
Schools in North Grenville and the safety zone designation:
- Oxford on the Rideau Public School (50 Water St.) – School Zone with speed limit of 50 km/hr
- Kemptville Public School (County Road 44) – Community Safety Zone with speed limit of 60 km/hr
- South Branch Public School/ Rivière-Rideau/Académie Notre Dame (Concession Road) – Community Safety Zone with speed limit of 40 km/hr
- North Grenville District High School (Concession Road) – Community Safety Zone with speed limit of 40 km/hr
- Holy Cross School (Clothier Street) – Community Safety Zone with speed limit of 40 km/hr
- St. Mike’s High School (County Road 43) – School zone with speed limit that changes during school hours from 60 km/hr to 40 km/hr.
August: Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the most serious road safety issues on Ontario roadways. It can include talking on a phone, texting, reading, using a GPS, watching videos, eating or drinking, smoking, personal grooming, or even adjusting the radio. Always put your phone away before you get behind the wheel and be alert while driving.
Tips to Avoid Distractions while Driving:
- Put your phone away: Before you drive, switch your phone to silent mode and put it out of reach. Do not text, use apps or read emails, and let calls go to voicemail.
- Review your route: Set the GPS and review all maps and directions.
- Prepare your kids and yourself: Make sure children have everything they need before you go – reading materials, toys, food and drink. And make sure you’re ready, too – including having all your personal grooming done before you get behind the wheel.
- Drive actively: Avoid eating or drinking and keep two hands on the wheel.
- Pull over: If you must answer your phone, pull over to safe location or use a Bluetooth device.
July: Share the Road
Warmer weather brings more bicycles and motorcycles on the roadways.
Cyclists and motorcyclist are more likely to be injured or killed in a collision because they do not have the safeguards when it comes to protection.
Be extra careful when passing cyclists on undivided roads. Passing them too closely can cause the rider to lose control. Always ensure you leave at least one-metre distance between the vehicle and bike when passing them. It’s the law.
Safety tips for Cyclists:
- Be Heard - Use your bell, horn, hand signals or voice to communicate that you are passing or approaching.
- Be protected, wear a helmet - a helmet can greatly reduce the risk of injury or death in the event of a fall or collision.
Safety tips for Motorcycle riders:
- Don’t follow too closely. Leaving space gives you time to manoeuvre and avoid a collision.
- Slow down and be extra vigilant at intersections.
June: Impaired Driving Hurts us All
Impaired driving is one of the leading causes of death on Ontario’s roads.
Alcohol — even one drink — can reduce a person’s ability to react to things that happen suddenly. The effects of alcohol also include blurred or double vision, impaired attention and slowed reflexes.
Many drugs, even those prescribed by a doctor or purchased over-the-counter, can impair one’s ability to drive safely. Smoking, vaping or eating cannabis can increase the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle collision.
The good news is impaired driving is 100% preventable. If you’re drinking alcohol or using cannabis, plan another way home:
- have a designated driver
- call a friend or loved one
- call a taxi or ride-share.
Never get into a car with someone who has been drinking or using cannabis or let a friend and family member drive impaired.
Watch this VIDEO by Arrive Alive Drive Sober - Cooking with Cannabis
For more information on Impaired Driving including fines and penalties visit:
May: Maintain your SPEED
Speeding is the number 1 cause of death on the roads.
While there has been fewer cars on the roads during the COVID-19 pandemic, the OPP have noticed an increase in speeding and stunt driving on some highways. Stunt driving includes street racing and driving more than 50 km/hr over the posted limit.
Be sure to stay within the maximum speed limit posted on signs. Empty roads are not an invitation to speed. Please follow the speed limits.
Why should drivers slow down or drive the speed limit?
- To increase reaction time, braking distance and field of vision.
- To save someone’s life.
- To save unnecessry fines, penalities, demerit points or an increase in insurance costs.
Roundabouts are designed to improve the flow of traffic and make intersections safer for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.
Key tips when approaching a roundabout:
- Slow down and yield to drivers in the roundabout
- Enter when there is a safe gap in the traffic
- Indicate a right turn as you approach your exit
- Stay in your lane; do not change lanes
- Remember to always watch for and yield to pedestrians
This graphic shows how to use a Roundabout (courtesy of the City of Hamilton):
For more information visit the MTO website.
February: Keep your Distance
Keep Your Distance when driving.
Be sure to leave enough space between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Following too close, or Tailgating, puts you at risk of a collision.
In winter weather conditions, it takes vehicles longer to stop, so be sure to give yourself extra time, leave extra space between you and vehicle ahead of you, and slow down.
Leave room for plows - Give snow plows plenty of space! When approaching a plow from behind, slow down, stay back and be patient.
NEVER pass a snow plow! It is extremely dangerous and could result in a severe or even fatal collision.
For more information download the MTO Winter Safe Driving Booklet.
January: Winter Driving
It's an unavoidable fact, we live in a Winter climate. Driving in Winter can be treacherous, especially when road conditions are snowy or icy.
If possible, avoid driving in really bad conditions. If you have to drive, plan ahead and give yourself extra time to get to your destination.
Follow these key tips when you're driving this winter:
- Prepare your vehicle for winter driving
- Winter tires provide greater traction under snowy or icy conditions.
- Keep a snow brush/scraper in your car, along with possible emergency items such as a lightweight shovel, battery jumper cables, and a flashlight.
- Make sure that mirrors, all windows, and the top of your vehicle, are free of snow or frost before getting onto the road.
- Drive slowly
Driving too quickly is the main cause of winter collisions. Be sure to drive slowly and carefully on snow and ice covered roads. Don’t make any abrupt turns or stops when driving.
- Don’t tailgate
Tailgating becomes much worse in winter weather. Stopping takes much longer on snowy and icy roads than on dry pavement, so be sure to leave enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
- Lights On
Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
- Pay attention
Manoeuvres are more difficult to make in the snow. Give yourself lots of room for turns and stopping.
Be observant - with grey, snowy afternoons and dark evenings, extra vigilance is needed when on the lookout for pedestrians or cyclists as they will be less visible.
For more winter driving tips visit the Canada Safety Council.
The North Grenville Road Safety Committee formed in November 2019 to develop this campaign. The Committee was facilitated by the North Grenville Police Services Board, and is comprised of: