Road safety is everyone’s responsibility
Being responsible behind the wheel
- Everyone must wear their own seatbelt. Never use one seat belt to secure two children.
- Children under the age of 13 should not sit in the front seat because they can be seriously injured if the airbag deploys.
- Respect traffic lights, stop signs and do not exceed the speed limit.
- Slow down in school zones, near parks, and in residential areas.
- Use extra caution when driving in bad weather and plan for extra time to reach your destination.
- Always be extra careful when driving past parked cars; children can suddenly run out between the cars.
- Never leave your child alone in a car. In the summer the temperature in your car can rise quickly causing heat exhaustion and even death.
- Never leave a child or pet in a car while the motor is running. In the winter, the exhaust pipe can become blocked by snow, and the idling can cause carbon monoxide poisoning leading to death.
- Bring your vehicle to a full stop when a school bus’ lights are flashing and the stop sign is displayed. Not doing so is a serious offense resulting in a fine and demerit points.
- Having a cellular phone on hand is recommended for emergency situations. Do not use your cellular phone while driving; all attention should be on the road.
- Consider having a car safety kit that includes adhesive bandages, water, a non-perishable snack, a flashlight and a blanket.
- Never drink and drive.
Sharing the road
Car seats: According to The Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), 2008:
- In Quebec, every child in a motor vehicle must be in a car seat at least until he/she reaches a height of 63 cm, in the seated position.
- Beyond 63 cm, a child should only use the car’s seatbelt without a car seat when he/she is able to sit on the back seat of the car with his back to the seat and his knees bent, thus allowing to adjust the seatbelt strap in the middle of the clavicle and the lap belt over the hips, not the abdomen.
- Use an age appropriate car seat that meets government approved standards. Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
Weight less than 9 kg (20 lbs.)
Height up to 66 cm (26 in) in overall height
Weight 9 - 18 kg (20 - 40 lbs.)
Height 66 - 102 cm (26 - 40 in) in overall height
Weight greater than 18 kg (40 lbs.)
Height less than 63 cm (25 in) in seated height
Information from the Société de l’Assurance Automobile du Québec Website (2008):
- Contact your local police department or the CAA (1-888-471-2424) to make sure your car seat is installed properly. In the automotive section of the CAA’s Website there is a list of car seat verification centres.
- The recommended place for an infant car seat is in the back, middle seat, facing the rear.
- Always secure your baby when you put him/her in a car seat. Infants can easily slide out of the seat if not well secured, resulting in a serious injury.
- Be aware that seat belt buckles can get extremely hot if exposed to the sun, especially during the summer.When leaving the car, cover the metal belt with a towel. Check the temperature of the buckle before securing it near your child’s skin.
The ABCs of pedestrian safety
- Supervision is important. Children younger than nine years of age should not cross the street alone since they often have difficulty integrating the many actions that are going on around them.
- Everyone should only cross the street at traffic lights, stop signs and pedestrian walkways.
- When walking with your toddler, make sure that you walk on the outside of the sidewalk and hold your toddler’s hand.
Furthermore, teach children to:
- Follow pedestrian rules: stop before stepping onto the road, look all ways before crossing (left, right, then left again) and listen for vehicles.
- Make eye contact with the drivers and ensure that they are visible to them.
- Follow the crossing guard’s instructions when crossing the street; they help ensure pedestrian safety.
- Be on the lookout for moving vehicles at driveway entrances, street corners, and alleys.
- Never cross between parked vehicles. Never jaywalk. know and respect road safety rules. ensuring everyone’s safety.
It is important to:
- stand away from traffic when waiting for the bus.
- stay in your seat, keep your head and arms inside the bus, and keep the aisle clear when the bus is moving.
- follow the bus driver’s instructions at all times.
- wait until the bus has come to a full stop and the doors have opened before standing up and getting off the bus.
- take 10 big steps ahead of the bus before crossing the street after getting off the bus.
- always cross in front of the bus, away from the danger zone so that you can make eye contact with the driver.
- wait for a signal from the driver and look both ways before crossing the street.
- never cross the street or walk behind the bus.
Safety on wheels
Helmets are recommended when using tricycles, bicycles, in-line skates, skateboards and scooters.
- Make sure your helmet meets Quebec and Canadian safety standards. ASTM, CPSC, CSA or a Snell Foundation marking should appear on the helmet.
- The helmet should fit squarely on the top of the head to provide maximum protection.
- The distance between the eyebrow and the edge of the helmet should not exceed the width of 1 or 2 fingers.
- The chinstrap should be attached tightly and allow minimal movement of the helmet when the mouth is opened and closed.
- Never use a helmet that has been damaged. Do not buy a helmet at a garage sale or use one whose history is not known as damages may not be visible.
- At the beginning of the season, make sure the bicycle is the appropriate size for the user and in proper working order.
- Check brakes, tire pressure and reflectors.
- Wear bright clothing and have lights and reflectors on the bicycles to ensure that you are always visible to motorists, especially in the evening.
- Be on the lookout for pedestrians.
- Never double ride another passenger on your bicycle.
- Road safety rules apply to cyclists as well as motorists and pedestrians.
Skateboarding, inline-skating and scootering
- It is recommended to use this equipment in areas designated for the activity and not on busy streets.
- Wear helmets, elbow pads, kneepads and gloves.
- When on city streets make sure to follow road safety rules.
- Wear bright clothing to ensure that you are always visible to motorists.
- Be on the lookout for pedestrians.
- Never grasp and hang onto moving vehicles.
For more information about how to talk to your kids about road safety click here to hear tips from MCH Trauma Director Debbie Friedman.
The Montreal Children’s Hospital
2300 Tupper Street, Montréal (Québec) H3H 1P3
514 412-4400, extension 23310