The safety of children is important to everyone in our community. Pedestrian activity is traditionally more prevalent in proximity to schools particularly during morning arrival and afternoon dismissal.
Over the last several years, the high volume of motorists dropping off and picking up children at schools throughout the city has increased, creating potentially unsafe traffic conditions. In an effort to improve traffic safety around schools, various parking regulations have been enacted. Drivers are encouraged to obey these regulations to create a safer environment for school children.
Parking enforcement around schools
Enforcement of parking regulations around schools encourages compliance and results in a safer environment for all pedestrians, including students. Schools normally attempt to resolve parking conflicts through school newsletters, flyers, school council meetings, etc. However, when issues arising out of parking violations cannot be resolved by other means, dedicated parking enforcement is undertaken at the request of the school.
Parking regulations around schools
There are several parking regulations around schools. Please check the signs. However, the following information will assist you when driving your child to school:
No Parking - This means that a vehicle can stop in these areas to drop off and pick up school children. It does not, however, mean that the driver can arrive 15 minutes before school is dismissed and wait for their child.
In many cases, the No Parking areas around schools are for specific periods of time such as from 7 am to 6 pm. No Parking areas are normally located where it is safest to momentarily stop a vehicle to drop off and pick up children.
No Stopping - These areas are likely to be found at intersections, school crossing guard locations or crosswalks where there is a high concentration of students crossing the street. Drivers who park in these areas are jeopardizing the safety of students walking to and from school.
School Bus Loading Zone - Has the same meaning as a No Stopping area but allows school buses to stop in these designated areas. Private vehicles are not allowed to stop in these areas.
In most cases, School Bus Loading Zones are in place due to an ongoing conflict with private vehicles. Due to a shortage of curb space, there isn’t always enough room for both private vehicles and buses. When private vehicle operators use the School Bus Loading Zone and load or unload passengers, this results in the bus stopping in the middle of the road while waiting for the private vehicles to leave the designated school bus loading zone. As a result, the streets become more congested and student safety is reduced.
Taxi Stand - These areas are reserved for taxi cabs. Vehicles that are not taxi cabs cannot park or stop in these zones.
Wheel Chair Loading Zone - These areas have been designated to provide a dedicated area for “special needs” children and are located to utilize the shortest or most direct route for disabled children and their escorts to travel between the school and the bus or taxi. Drivers should never use the Wheel Chair Loading Zone for dropping off or picking up able-bodied children.
School Crossing Areas - You cannot stop or park within this area for any reason including picking up or dropping off students.
Sightlines for students crossing the street must be maintained. Drivers who stop within a school crossing area create a serious hazard for the children and the School Crossing Guard. Find School Crossing Guard locations in Hamilton.
Promote safety for children walking to school
The issue of parking congestion around schools is a common one in today’s society. Often parents who drive their children to school, identify the personal safety of their child as the reason. Unfortunately, the increase in vehicular traffic around schools while perhaps solving one problem creates the problem of traffic and parking congestion and increases the risk to those children who walk to school.
Parents can help by promoting walking to and from school. Parents and caregivers can help in addressing these issues with little negative impact on their lives and they may, in fact, enjoy some positive results.
Walk a Block program
In some circumstances parents, while on their way to work, drive their children to school. Parents may want to consider parking their vehicles one or two blocks away from the school and walk with their children the short distance to the school grounds.
In some communities this is known as the “Walk a Block” program. It has the benefit of providing parents and children with an opportunity to exercise and talk about various safety rules as well as improving their knowledge of the streets in their neighbourhood.
Walking School Bus program
Another concept used in some communities is the “Walking School Bus” program. This involves the children walking to school with an adult neighbour who walks their own children to school. If you know of someone who also walks their children to school, ask the parent if they’d be willing to have your child walk with them in exchange for you walking their children on alternate days or weeks.
Hamilton Municipal Parking System
80 Main Street West at Summers Lane
71 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5
Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
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