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Back-to-school safety tips from
Safety Cone Sam and Belle the Bike

NEWMARKET, ON – August 26, 2019 – With children returning back to school from summer vacation, Town of Newmarket Bylaw Officers will be making their way around town, conducting a public education campaign in school zones. Newmarket's traffic safety mascots, Safety Cone Sam and Belle the Bike, remind residents to keep the following school zone, pedestrian, cyclist and motorist safety tips in mind as back-to-school traffic increases.
School Zone safety tips:
  • Drive according to the posted speed limit in school and Community Safety zones.
  • Pay attention while driving in school parking lots and be aware of children who may be walking or running in the lot or in between parked cars.
  • Do not park in a NO PARKING zone. You may stop briefly to drop-off or pick-up a passenger, but you cannot wait in your vehicle or leave your vehicle unattended. 
  • Do not stop in a NO STOPPING zone for any reason. These are areas where a stopped vehicle can obstruct the visibility of other drivers and pedestrians.
Walking to school safety tips:
  • Always cross the street at school crossing guard locations or at intersections.
  • Be patient and take your direction to walk from the pedestrian signals, not the lights.
  • Be alert, pay attention to your surroundings and avoid using any mobile device that will distract you while crossing the street.
  • If you aren't sure you have enough time to cross, don't take the chance – wait for the next signal.

School Crossing Guards 

Crossing Guards are responsible for the safety of children while crossing the road in school zones. Drivers are reminded to take caution in school zones and to look and listen for the crossing guards’ stop sign and whistles.

This is what the crossing guards whistle signals mean:
  • First whistle: the guard proceeds to the centre of the roadway to stop traffic 
  • Second whistle: the guard sounds this when traffic has completely stopped, to advise children that it is now safe to cross the roadway  
  • Third whistle: the guard sounds this when the children and the guard have safely crossed the road, indicating to the driver(s) that it is now safe to proceed
Cycling to school safety tips:
  • Remember to wear a helmet when cycling. By law in Ontario, anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet while cycling.
  • Make sure your helmet fits snugly, has no visible cracks, is Canadian Standards Association approved and make sure you do up the straps.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for road hazards such as glass, sand and gravel.
Motorist safety tips:
  • Don’t drive distracted. Good drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
  • Watch for pedestrians who may be walking against their signal.
  • Be cautious when turning into any intersection and slow down on residential streets and school zones where children might be walking or playing.
  • Be alert and use caution when approaching intersections, crosswalks and stopped transit buses.

Drop-off and Pick-up Zones

Drop-off and Pick-up zones are designated areas on the school property that are separate from school bus loading and unloading areas.
  • Not all school sites are designed with a drop-off and pick-up zone, please check with your child's school for more information.
  • drop-off and pick-up zones can provide an alternative to parking on municipal streets or in school parking lots.
  • Do not park or leave your vehicle unattended in the drop-off and pick-up zone. Drop-off and pick-up zones are designed to ease congestion and keep traffic moving in the mornings and afternoons.

Traffic Signs in School Zones  

  • Familiarize yourself with common traffic signs that you may encounter in school zones.
  • Traffic laws include traffic signs and pedestrian signals that tell drivers and other road users what they must do in certain locations - like a school zone.
The Town of Newmarket encourages residents to report dangerous or aggressive driving behaviour to the York Regional Police’s Road Watch Program. This program provides residents with the means to report dangerous or unlawful driving behaviour such as speeding, unsafe lane changing, disobeying traffic lights and stop signs.
Safety Driven Lawn Sign Program

Newmarket’s Safety Driven lawn sign program consists of two signs - Keep Kids Safe sign, which is installed to increase drivers’ awareness of vulnerable pedestrians for safety, and a Look Up! Look Around! sign, which is placed along bike lanes to increase cyclists’ attention to vehicles and pedestrians. 

Lawn signs are placed on boulevards to increase safety in the roads in Newmarket. Signs are moved every two-to-three weeks to prevent damages and loss.

If you wish to have a sign installed in front of your house or a specific spot, please contact Town of Newmarket 905-895-5193 or email

For more safety tips and to view Newmarket’s “Safety Starts With You” video series, visit 

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Media Contact:
Corporate Communications, Town of Newmarket
Phone: 905-953-5300 ext. 2040

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Newmarket, ON, L3Y 4X7

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