School safety

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Drivers, parents, and children all play a role in keeping school zones, school buses and school patrols safe for kids.

School zones

School zones are designated areas near schools that alert drivers to ensure the safety of children crossing the roadway. Always drive cautiously in and near school zones. Be watchful and prepared to stop suddenly. Learn more by watching this 60 Second Driver video.

Tips for drivers

  • In Winnipeg, from the beginning of September to the end of June, speed limits are 30 kilometres per hour in designated school zones, effective Monday - Friday, from 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Outside of Winnipeg, if the signs do not specify a time frame when the speed limit is in effect, then the reduced maximum speed is in effect at all times.
  • Drivers caught speeding in a school zone could face a fine of at least $200 and move down two levels on the Driver Safety Rating (DSR) scale.
  • It is illegal to pass another moving vehicle in a school area within 15 minutes of either the opening or closing of classes or any time when children are on the school grounds or near the road.

School bus safety

School buses are actually among the safest vehicles on the road, especially in terms of protecting their precious cargo. Children are at the greatest risk when they are getting on and off the bus. Drivers, parents and kids all play a role in school bus safety.

The safety tips below can help ensure children can get on and off the bus safely. See more information in this 60 Second Driver video.

School bus safety tips for drivers

  • Be extremely cautious around school buses and remember that young children are prone to sudden movements.
  • Flashing yellow lights on the school bus indicate that the bus is getting ready to stop and load or unload. Slow down and get ready to stop.
  • Flashing red lights indicate that the bus has stopped and that children are getting on or off. It is illegal to pass a school bus from either direction once it’s stopped with lights activated unless there is a physical barrier (such as a median) between your vehicle and the bus. Drivers coming from both directions must immediately stop at least five metres from the bus and remain stopped until the lights stop flashing, the STOP arm folds away and the bus begins to move.

School bus safety tips for parents

  • Educate your children about bus safety. Children should be mindful of traffic before crossing the road and board/exit the bus in single file.
  • Ensure your children arrive at their bus stop at least five minutes before the school bus is scheduled to arrive. They should never run after the school bus if they arrive late to the bus stop.
  • Children must stay at least three metres (10 feet) away from the three danger zones – the front, sides and back of the bus.
  • Children should take five giant steps back from the road when the school bus is approaching.
  • Children must wait until the bus has come to a complete stop before boarding or exiting. They should use the handrail to safely get on and off the bus.
  • If children must cross the street near a school bus: They must never cross behind the bus. They should seek the driver’s permission, take five giant steps past the front of the bus and make sure the driver has seen them before crossing.
  • If children drop something near or under the school bus, they should never attempt to retrieve it without the driver’s permission.

School patrols

Before and after school and at lunch time, you might notice the bright orange safety vests worn by school safety patrol members. These students are trained to help other students safely cross streets and drivers need to follow their directions. Learn more by watching this 60 Second Driver video.

Manitoba Public Insurance is a proud sponsor of the Manitoba School Safety Patrol Program, helping to provide equipment and training materials to outfit approximately 7,500 dedicated youth throughout the province.