Dear SMS Parents,
Please, carefully read this letter regarding traffic safety. It applies to everyone.
In the first month and a half of school, we have seen a lot of inconsistency in how students dropped-off. Some days go by with little to no concern while other days there are several concerns related to improper drop-off and disregard to student safety.
As with previous years, teachers who are on outdoor supervision in the morning and at the end of the school day struggle to ensure student safety during drop off and pick-up times. Too many parents are using unsafe and often illegal driving practices that put all of us at risk. We firmly ask you to follow the laws and safe driving practices to ensure the health and well-being of everyone – students, teachers, staff, community members, and neighbors who are not associated with SMS or IAS.
First of all, our teachers are present to help your children into the building in a safe manner. Our teachers are not law enforcement officers. We can only ask that you follow our requests. However, it distracts us from keeping the school zone safe when drivers break laws and go against safe practices.
In many cases, when one driver chooses to disobey these requests (by parking in the middle of the crosswalk, for example, to drop their children off or watch their children enter the building) it creates a snowball effect by encouraging others to break rules to avoid the inconvenience you are creating. If a car is parked or even temporarily stopped in the crosswalk, this forces students to unsafely jay-walk to get across the street; it causes other drivers to become impatient and try to pass the car parked in the crosswalk; and it creates a sense of entitlement that we should all be able to park at the point closest to the front doors.
Drivers who break the laws and safety rules are putting their own convenience before the safety of the children we are trying to protect. Students lives are very literally being put at risk by drivers who choose to disobey safety requests. In a collision between an automobile and a pedestrian, the automobile will win every time.
Please use the following safe driving and pedestrian habits inside of the school zone:
Speed limit is 30 km/h
Park along the sidewalk
Ensure your children exit the car onto the sidewalk, not onto the street
Ensure your children only cross in the crosswalk and encourage them to look both ways before crossing
In the school zone, please:
DO NOT drive over 30 km/h
DO NOT park in the crosswalk zone
Your car should never be parked or stopped within 5 meters of the painted crosswalk. This is approximately 1 full vehicle length from the paint. On the school side of the street, there are 6 black rubber curbs along the sidewalk. Your car should not be stopped inside of this zone. This is a safe crosswalk zone. Cars parked or stopped in this area put our students at serious risk. The area should be clear so all drivers can see all pedestrians.
DO NOT attempt to pass drivers parked in or around the crosswalk
DO NOT make U-turns
If you wish to drop your children on the school side of the street, use a driving route that does not require a U-turn. If you enter Copland Crescent from Main Street, you will be forced to make a U-Turn. Instead, access Copland Crescent from Leslie Avenue via 12th Street East and Cumberland Avenue. This only takes an extra minute or two to do.
DO NOT park on the street beside another parked car
DO NOT let your children out of the vehicle on the driver side of the vehicle (directly onto the street)
We have already requested the assistance of Saskatoon Police Services to monitor our area to ensure all drivers follow the law and safe driving practices.
We are all responsible! It is necessary for all of us, as adults, to provide a safe environment for our students and our children. Consider that lives are put at risk when our laws and safety guidelines are not followed. Make safe choices.
Thank you to our many parents who are already following proper driving practices. We appreciate the fact that you ensure a safe school environment. Please continue to do so.
If you would like any clarification on the contents of this letter, please contact the school. We wish to work with you to provide a safe environment for everyone.