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October 17, 2016

Canadians see dangerous driving in school zones across the country, CAA finds

OTTAWA, ON – Nearly two thirds (64 percent) of Canadians have witnessed at least one dangerous driving practice in school zones, according to a poll released by the Canadian Automobile Association as part of National School Safety Week.

Almost one third (30 percent) of drivers reported witnessing a near miss or collision in a school zone, more than half of which involved a child. Drivers also said they witnessed speeding, texting while driving or distracted driving, people not stopping for a school bus, and running a stop sign (see full chart below).

“The safety of our children, and all road users, in school zones is a top priority for CAA,” says Jeff Walker, vice-president, public affairs, CAA National. “Driving with caution in school zones is a message every Canadian driver needs to keep in mind all year round.”

Parents and drivers can do their part to keep school zones safe by respecting the speed limits in school zones, and by eliminating distractions such as cell phone use. CAA also encourages parents to park a block away and walk to school, if possible, to reduce congestion and make school zones safer.

“School zones have changed a lot in a generation,” says Walker. “Fewer children walk to school, which means more cars and busses crowd a small space in a relatively short period of time, making school zones harder to manoeuver safely.”

Fully 4 out of 10 Canadians say they are witnessing more unsafe driving practices in school zones today than in the past.

Findings are based on a CAA poll of 2,012 Canadians. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.2%, 19 times out of 20.

Five tips on staying safe in school zones from CAA

  1. Drive with caution: Driving for the conditions does not only mean when it’s raining or snowing – it also means when you’re driving through a school zone. Know and follow the speed limits in the school zones in your community.
  2. Make eye contact with children: In cooler temperatures, many children wear toques and hoods that limit their vision and cover their ears. Anticipate that they may not easily see your moving vehicle, or hear it. Make eye contact with passing pedestrians and cyclists.
  3. Be mindful of school playgrounds: School playgrounds are a popular place for children to meet and play outside school hours and on holidays. Exercise the same safe driving practices in school zones at all times of day, on weekends, and on holidays.
  4. Be aware of trick-or-treaters: While driving on Halloween night, be aware of the extra pedestrian traffic that will take place in school zones. A community’s school is a popular central gathering place for friends who meet to trick-or-treat together.
  5. Slow down: Daylight savings and darker afternoons call for increased driving precautions in school zones. Slow your speed. When it’s dark outside your depth perception and peripheral vision are compromised.

szs-release-en

For further information, please contact:

Kristine D’Arbelles
Manager, Public Affairs
CAA National
Office: 613-247-0117 ext. 2006
Mobile: 613-796-9404
kdarbelles@national.caa.ca



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