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School Area Safety

Let’s work together to keep students safe in and around schools by being attentive and driving safely.

Keeping students safe on their way to and from school is everyone's responsibility. Follow the safety tips below to keep yourself and others safe.

  • Slow down: Drive cautiously and obey the posted speed limit. All schools in Kingston are Community Safety Zones, where fines are doubled.
  • Obey crossing guards: Be on the lookout for crossing guards and always come to a complete stop until everyone is safely out of the road. 
  • Watch for pedestrians: School areas are busy areas with students walking, riding and getting dropped off to school. Remain alert, be patient, and always be prepared to stop.
  • No parking zones: Do not park in no parking zones. You can briefly stop to drop-off or pick-up students, but you cannot park and wait in your vehicle. 
  • No stopping zones: Do not stop in no stopping zones. Not even to drop-off or pick-up students.
  • School bus loading zones: Do not stop in school bus loading zones. Not even to drop-off or pick-up students.
  • Park and stride: Park a short distance away from school and walk the rest of the way. This is a great way to get active and help reduce congestion in school areas. 
  • Stop for school buses: When a school bus is stopped with flashing red lights and an extended stop arm, traffic in both directions must stop. You may only continue when the lights stop flashing. 
  • Focus on the road: Put away your phone, stay alert and do not use any distracting devices.
  • Avoid U-turns: Drive safely and avoid making U-turns and three-point turns. School areas are busy areas and students may not see you. 
  • Clean air zone: Turn off your engine to protect the air we breathe. It’s the law. 
  • Walk, roll, or ride the bus: When possible, walk, cycle, or ride the bus to school. Students 14 and under can ride Kingston Transit for free. High school students in the Limestone District School Board system can also ride for free with a Student Pass.

  • Focus on walking: Put away distracting devices, be aware of your surroundings and be alert of approaching traffic.
  • Cross safely: Stop at the curb. Look left and right and listen for oncoming and turning vehicles. Make eye contact with drivers and make sure vehicles come to a complete stop before entering the road. Avoid travelling between parked vehicles.
  • Plan your route: Map out your walking route to school ahead of time. When possible, travel with a buddy. 
  • Understand road signs and signals: Learn and follow the rules of the road.

  • Wear a helmet: Students under the age of 18 are required to wear an approved bike helmet.
  • Use hand signals: Use hand signals to let other road users know when you will be turning, changing lanes, or slowing down. Learn more about cycling hand signals.
  • Obey crossing guards: Be on the lookout for crossing guards and always come to a complete stop until everyone is safely out of the road.
  • Watch for pedestrians: School areas are busy areas with students and families walking, riding and getting dropped off to school. Remain alert, be patient, and always be prepared to stop.
  • Stop for school buses: When a school bus is stopped with flashing red lights and an extended stop arm, traffic in both directions must stop. You may only continue when the lights stop flashing.
  • Plan your route: Map out your cycling route to school ahead of time. When possible, travel with a buddy.

School crossing guards

School crossing guards are dedicated professionals employed by the City of Kingston. They work each school day in all weather conditions to ensure elementary school-aged children safely cross roads on their way to and from school.

Wearing a reflective vest, crossing guards use a stop sign paddle to create safe gaps in traffic for children to cross the road. Under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, school crossing guards are legally permitted to stop traffic by raising their stop sign paddle. The presence of school crossing guards also reminds drivers that they are travelling along a route with children walking and rolling to and from school.

School crossings are staffed for a minimum of 35 minutes near arrival and dismissal times. While we strive to provide consistent service during the school year, crossing guard services may be temporarily interrupted due to extreme weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Requests for new school crossing guard locations are assessed based on several factors, including the number of students crossing, the number of safe gaps in traffic, and the number of vehicles travelling through the crossing. Additional factors may also be considered at a given location.

Learn more about the Crossing Guard program and consider joining the team.

  • Plan a safe walking route with your child
  • Become familiar with your crossing guard’s schedule
  • Encourage your child to listen to the crossing guard for instructions
  • When driving, lead by example by driving cautiously and obeying all traffic laws

  • Always listen to and follow the crossing guard’s instructions
  • Always get off your bike, skateboard or scooter to walk across the school crossing

  • Always be alert, patient, and prepared to stop in school areas
  • When the crossing guard and students are crossing or preparing to cross the road, you must come to a complete stop and wait until all and the crossing guard have completely crossed the road
  • Be courteous, patient, and obey all traffic laws
  • It is against the law to pass any other vehicle within 30 meters of the crosswalk
  • Drivers who do not follow the stopping requirements may receive a substantial fine and four demerit points
  • All school crossings in Kingston are within Community Safety Zones, where fines are doubled

School streets 

A school street is a car-free block beside a school that is open to walking, cycling and rolling during peak drop-off and pick-up times, typically for 15 to 30 minutes. School streets encourage more families to walk or cycle to and from school by providing a safer space, free of vehicles. 

Interested in learning more about piloting a School Street? We designed the School Streets Playbook as a practical guide for school communities and interested community groups. 

If you are interested in piloting a School Street, you can follow these steps: 

    1. Review the criteria for a successful School Street
    2. Build support and begin planning for operations
    3. Obtain school board and City approvals
    4. Plan for launching and operating the School Street
    5. Launch, operate and manage the School Street

The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land.

Today, the City is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation.

Learn more about the City's reconciliation initiatives.

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