Be Safe. Watch Out. Park Smart.

City launches Be Safe Back To School traffic safety campaign

back to school













The dog days of summer are quickly giving way to the crazy days of returning to school for thousands of children in our city.  With that excitement come many distractions – distractions that can be dangerous for both drivers and children. The City of Calgary, the Calgary Police Service (CPS) and the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) are partnering in the Be Safe back to school social media and information traffic safety campaign to remind and encourage drivers to operate their vehicles safely and responsibly, especially near schools.

“The Calgary Police Service encourages children and parents to get to school by using safe practices like using crosswalks with patrols, and not jaywalking across the roadways as a shortcut,” says Const. Randy MacDonald, Traffic Section, CPS. “We ask parents not to park where it’s prohibited during drop off and pick up times, such as blocking crosswalks and driveways. We encourage all users of the roadway to use safe practices.”

The Be Safe safety campaign focuses on asking drivers to Watch Out, Slow Down, Give Space, Park Smart, and Be Courteous, among other messages during the opening weeks of the new school year.

“We want to remind folks to be safe, slow down, and take extra care,” adds Jacquelyn Oriold, Transportation Safety Education Specialist, City of Calgary. “We know pick up and drop off times can get quite busy. We ask you to give yourself extra time to navigate safely around schools, whether you are walking, wheeling, or driving. For those that drive, you can help alleviate congestion by parking a block or two away and walking in, wherever possible."

CPA Enforcement Officers patrol outside schools talking to parents and drivers about respecting the rules of the road when it comes to parking near crosswalks, bus zones, laneways, private driveways, etc. Officers also engage students when appropriate to ensure they are also aware of how to navigate the roads, crosswalks and sidewalks safely.

“How people park is an essential part of the overall safety of the traffic environment around schools,” says Todd Sullivan, Parking Safety and Compliance Coordinator, Calgary Parking Authority. “The Calgary Parking Authority has worked for many years in partnership with the Calgary Police Service and The City to educate and reinforce smart parking practices to ensure the safety of everyone.  For the safety of our children, we ask drivers to please be courteous and park responsibly when dropping off and picking up children at schools. Our enforcement officers are always available to speak to parent and school groups to answer questions and explain smart and safe parking."

Please park responsibly and help make streets safe for our children.  Let’s return to school energized, ready to learn, and practicing safe traffic and parking behaviours. 

Pathway safety

With school starting in September and the return of more typical commuting volumes, now is a good time to remind kids how to move safely on pathways. 

Everyone using the pathway system, pedestrian and wheeled users alike, can stay safe by:

  • Remaining to the right of the line except to pass
  • Leaving a minimum of one meter between yourself and the person you are passing
  • When approaching from behind, make yourself heard by using your voice to announce “passing on your left”
  • Only pass when there are no oncoming users and never pass on blind corners or in underpasses.

Remind kids to look out for garbage trucks

Taking care around the garbage truck is important for your safety, your family’s safety and the safety of our drivers. When you see a garbage truck coming down your street/alley, make sure to Stop. Watch. Stay Away.

Be safe, everyone.

For more back to school safety tips, visit our Traffic Tips page