Parking safely around schools

school patrol officers outside Ramsay school

Parking issues around drop-off and pick-up times often create dangerous conditions for students. Drivers will often park in prohibited areas, such as in front of crosswalks or driveways or blocking school buses. Each year, Calgary Parking receives hundreds of complaints about how people park around schools, and we want to change that. 

In our School Patrol program, Parking Safety & Compliance Officers attend schools during the busy times to provide guidance on safe parking practices and to answer any questions concerns. With over 150 elementary schools across the city, we can't attend every school every day, so we hope you can help spread the word.

Put the safety of all children first

We understand that drop-off and pick-up times can be hectic, and parents and guardians are often rushing to drop their children off and carry on with their day. Drivers will often park in prohibited areas, such as in front of crosswalks or driveways or blocking school buses. We want to get the word out that the safety of all children should be put above the individual’s convenience.

Be an "Early Bird"

We’re asking parents to leave a few minutes early to avoid having to park dangerously and when possible, park a short distance away and walk the remaining distance to help alleviate congestion. This also allows the caregiver extra time with the child and to teach them road safety and watch for cars at crosswalks.

Watch for signs

Watch for signs indicating 'No Stopping' and 'No Parking' zones. Parking too close to stop signs, yield signs or intersections makes it difficult to see children in the area and obstructs the view of other motorists. A distance of 5 metres is required.

Give plenty of space

School bus zones must be kept clear so children can step off the bus and onto a curb instead of exiting into a busy street. Leave 5 metres between your car and any crosswalk markings. This will ensure children are visible when they enter the crosswalk. Do not block entrances to garages or driveways. Please stay back at least 1.5 metres.

Don't double park

We know that when you're in a rush,  you might think you can quickly stop beside another vehicle to quickly let your child out, but this is an extremely dangerous and illegal practice. Please take the few extra minutes to find a legal spot to park and safely let your child out. This also allows you to get out yourself and give them a hug goodbye!

Tips: Don't block driveways and bus zones, follow all signs, and don't double park

Consider active school travel

Active school travel is non-motorized travel options such as walking, cycling, skateboarding, roller blading, scooting or using a wheelchair to get to and from school. It helps improve safety and accessibility around school zones, promotes an active lifestyle to children, and reduces your carbon footprint. 

Be kind

We also want to remind parents to be kind to our officers. They only have the children’s safety in mind and are there, first and foremost, to educate and address any questions or concerns. Issuing tickets is a secondary measure, in hopes that behaviour will change and that the driver will think about safety before speed or convenience.

For the safety of everyone, we ask drivers to be considerate and park responsibly when dropping off and picking up children at schools. This plays a crucial role in creating a safe environment for our children.

Categories: Safety

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