Parent Safety Program
What Is the Parent Safety Program?
- The main purpose of the P.S.P. is to reduce or eliminate the number of traffic hazards, which create a safety risk for children everyday at their school.
- It is a Community based, non-confrontational program.
- The program creates an organized “Kiss ‘n’ Ride” zone at the school during the dropping off and picking up of children.
- It primarily focuses on elementary schools, but can be adapted to high schools experiencing similar traffic problems.
- The program depends on the active involvement of concerned parent volunteers.
The Parent Safety Program motto is “Choose Safety Over Convenience”.
Common Traffic Problems At Schools Include:
- Parking illegally
- Stopping illegally
- Unsafe turns and U-turns
- Using driveways for ‘3 point’ turns
- Not stopping for children at crosswalks
- Parking within / obstructing school bus zones
- Arriving late in the morning or early in the afternoon creating traffic congestion
Other Safety Problems:
- Children darting across the street through traffic unaccompanied by an adult
- Crossing mid block instead of at the crosswalk
- Letting children out of the car on the driver side (traffic side) of the vehicle
- Double parking / reversing a vehicle in the parking lot
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What is a Kiss ‘n’ Ride?
A Kiss ‘n’ Ride is a designated area (indicated by traffic cones) for the drop off and pick up of children operated for a brief period each morning and afternoon. Off-street Kiss ‘n’ Rides provide parent volunteers (identified by orange safety vests) to assist drivers entering the school parking lot. They facilitate orderly traffic flow and help children in and out of the vehicles and schoolyard. This allows parents to drop off or pick up their children without having to park. On-street Kiss ‘n’ Rides operate in a similar fashion, curb-side on the roadway, at schools where there are no areas suitable for the off-street Kiss ‘n’ Rides. Volunteers help the children in and out of the vehicles and to or from the school / schoolyard. Members of the city Transportation Department, Parking Enforcement and / or the school will assess the area around a school to determine the best area for the Kiss ‘n’ Ride and to ensure the appropriate by-laws are in place.
Police / Parking Enforcement
The Toronto Police Service and the Parking Enforcement Unit support the Parent Safety Program. They will assist in the training of parents (what volunteers can and can’t do legally) as well as provide support during implementation. Members of the Parking Enforcement Unit will give an orientation assembly to the children in the school. An assembly or information session for parents can also be held if desired by the school. Once the program is operational, the officers will monitor its progress and will arrange for enforcement and follow-up when required. Consequences for drivers may be verbal or written warnings, or issuance of infraction notices.
- Volunteers must wear reflective vests, which will identify them as members of the P.S.P. and make them highly visible.
- Place traffic cones in the area where the drop off and pick up points will be.
- Volunteers are supplied with prepared pamphlets to convey to drivers the purpose of the Parent Safety Program and, as a reminder to “Choose Safety Over Convenience”.
- When assisting children in and out of the car, they simply open the door. They do not reach in to buckle or unbuckle the children from the seat belt.
- Volunteers do not enter the roadway to assist children crossing and do not direct traffic in any manner.
- Should be enthusiastic and polite when they are on patrol.
- Should give reminders as to why the program is in place at their school.
- Provide safe and legal alternatives for drivers.
- Be pleasant and don’t engage in verbal confrontations, even if drivers want to.
- Record Licence Numbers and descriptions of offending vehicles. Submit information to Co-ordinator.
- Volunteers should be role models for others, don’t be a violator on non-patrol days.
- Dedicated and Committed Parent Volunteers
- Support of the School Principal and Teaching Staff
- Support of the School Board
- Support of the local Police Division and the Parking Enforcement Unit
- Support from the City (e.g. Works & Environment, Health Services Etc.)
The Parent Safety Program is a very simple and effective way to ensure the safety of our children. It reiterates safety and common sense in children and parents.
A Thought for the Future: “Beyond all else, it is our children who matter most to us. They rely on us to provide all that they require as growing little people. They look to us for leadership and mimic our actions daily. If we role model safe driving techniques, safe crossing procedures, and they see us actively helping each other, they are going to give us a passing grade!”
– Drew McNichol, Parent and Founder of the Parent Parking Patrol in Edmonton