by | Aug 28, 2023 | Landscape Services, Updates & Announcements

We always strive for safety in everything we do. Mainscape has a tremendous safety culture built on Four Keys to Safety:

●      Surroundings – Be aware of your surroundings

●      Accountability – Personal responsibility related to your own safety

●      Family – Look out for each other’s safety

●      Equipment – Know your equipment

It is amazing how often we put ourselves—or worse, others —in danger because we fail to follow these four keys (at home, at work or on the road). Distracted driving is one of the leading factors in motor accidents, and how often do we use PPE (personal protective equipment) when cleaning our shower (have you read the label on the bleach bottle)?

This time of year, kids are returning to school which means roads are more active, school zones are back in force, and bus stops are busy with children. We should be watchful all the time, but knowing children are not always to the most alert, we need to be more careful. Pedestrian injury is the third highest cause of injury-related death among children, so please drive defensively and observe these rules:

1. Always stop for a school bus when the lights are flashing.

Children have a limited sense of danger and are often excited and energetic when getting on or off a school bus. Watch out for children who may dart out from between stopped school buses or parked cars. Don’t obstruct a school bus loading zones. Be patient as children get on and off the bus. Motorists travelling in both directions are required to stop for a school bus when its lights are flashing and the stop arm is out. Failing to stop for a school bus carries fines and points against your license.

2. Observe posted speed limits.

It’s important to slow down as you approach a school zone and watch for children who may run out into harm’s way. Posted speed limits in school zones are typically 20 mph. Travelling at a slower speed gives drivers time to stop safely in case there are children crossing the road unexpectedly. Playground zones have the same speed limits and are in effect from dawn until dusk each day. Children may be out and about at various times throughout the day for recess, lunch or field trips, so you be careful when driving in school zones. Respect your school’s posted pick-up and drop-off areas to avoid creating unnecessary traffic congestion and unsafe conditions. This includes respecting “No Parking” and “No Stopping” zones.

3. Obey crossing guards at all times.

Whether you think they are right or not, obey crossing guards at all times. Children expect crossing guards to only allow them to cross if the situation is safe; disregarding a crossing guard’s instructions can have serious consequences.

4. Do not pass other vehicles in a school zone.

This is dangerous practice is prohibited in school zones. When passing other vehicles, you may be travelling quickly and your overall visibility is reduced. Children crossing the street won’t expect you to be passing and won’t be prepared for your car being in a different lane than usual. Similarly, you should not perform a U-turn or three-point turn, or even driving in reverse in a school zone if you can avoid it. Any sort of unpredictable driving maneuver may catch children off guard and cause an accident.

5. Expect the unexpected.

Children are unpredictable and can run out into traffic at any time. Watch carefully as you approach a school zone and be prepared for children to step into the road unexpectedly.

Let’s pause to consider how we view safety in our personal lives. Are we taking unnecessary risks? If a worst-case scenario played out, how would this affect our families and friends? The goal of a safety culture is not to make us walk around in fear, but rather to walk with awareness of how our actions impact others, and a vigilance to help protect others.