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Mother is guiding her daughter safely over a zebra crossing. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

61,000 first-graders will begin school this fall.

About 6,000 of them begin school today in Helsinki, and the police are visibly observing the school roads to ensure that the schoolchildren can enjoy a safe journey to school.

Jarkko Lehtinen, chief inspector from the Helsinki Police Department, gives hot tips for the drivers:

“Give pedestrians an unobstructed path at the zebra crossing and stop when a driver on the lane next to you stops in front of the crossing,” he said and continued, “Always follow the speed limits and remember that especially small schoolchildren can make sudden decisions such as suddenly burst on the road while following their friends.”

Starting today, the police will be seen on the main streets in the vicinity of schools in Helsinki.

Lehtinen reminded that regardless of the means of transportation, “anything extra such as using one’s mobile phone is a big risk in traffic.”

Starting today, the police will be seen on the main streets in the vicinity of schools in Helsinki.

The traffic patrols will be seen moving across the city, for example in Töölö, Hermanni, Kannelmäki and Roihuvuori regions.

“We will react to traffic offenses actively and we will be very visible near the school roads, so that the road users will be aware that schoolchildren, in vast numbers, will be returning to traffic,” Lehtinen said.

The police recommend that parents and children will practice a safe school journey together. While planning the route to school, one should remember that a pelican crossing is the safest place to go over the road.

If a pedestrian underpass is an option, one should use it.

Sources: The police, Finnish National Agency for Education