Alarmed by an increase in dangerous driving in school zones and, Shawn Pettipas, BCAA’s Director of Community Engagement stands within a school zone with even more determination to get all of us to make—and keep— a ‘new school year’ resolution to drive safe in school zones.
New survey: Aggressive driving on the rise in school zones
In our second annual School Zone Safety survey, we asked more than 300 school faculty and staff and 400 parents or guardians what they’re seeing in their school zones. They tell us that driving in school zones has gone from bad to worse.
As the new school year begins, let’s all make a ‘new school year’ resolution to drive safe in school zones. We understand that everyone’s in a rush and drop off and pick up times can be chaotic. While we can’t control other drivers—we can control our own reactions and driving behaviours.
Here are our survey results—yeah, pretty scary stuff. We’re hoping that by raising awareness of the dangerous driving that people are seeing in school zones we can all stop and think—and make safe choices.
Hostile/aggressive attitudes such as honking or using profanities: jumped 30 per cent (51% to 66%)
Not following rules of the road:
- Not stopping at a marked crosswalk (82%)
- Driving over speed limit (93%)
- Distracted driving (86%)
Ignoring school drop off and pick up procedures:
- 94% witness parents/guardians parking illegally (88% last year)
- 91% witness parents not dropping off or picking up at designated areas and even double parking (87% last year)
Drivers not stopping at a marked crosswalk is a common driving mistake many of us make in school zones. Do you stop for a pedestrian standing on the curb at a crosswalk AND wait for them to reach the curb on the other side before driving away? Be honest!
We know it’s stressful. Here are a few tips to keep everyone safe
- Avoid running late. A great deal of stress arises from feeling rushed. Give yourself plenty of time in the morning and consider completing tasks and preparing your child’s school items the night before.
- Focus on what you can control. No matter what’s going on around you, be patient and courteous. Reacting with extreme frustration may aggravate the situation and increase the risk of unsafe behaviours.
- Follow the rules, which includes school drop off and pick up procedures and rules of the road such as driving within the speed limit, stopping at marked cross walks and not driving distracted. If everyone follows the rules, problems and misunderstandings are less likely to occur.
- Pay close attention while driving. Expect the unexpected and look out for safety risks such as kids darting from cars, along with kids who are cycling and other pedestrians.
- Reduce congestion. Consider walking or cycling your child to school or park a few blocks away and walk your child the rest of the way to school.