B.C. Parents get C- for safe driving in school zones during first week back to class
Annual BCAA School Zone Safety Survey shows unsafe driving, including speeding and unsafe drop offs/pick ups continues to put kids in danger
Burnaby, September 25, 2019 – B.C. parents get a C- for their driving behaviours in school zones according to this year’s annual BCAA School Zone Safety Survey with illegal parking, unsafe drop offs/pick ups and speeding the issues most witnessed during this year’s first week back to class.
For several years, BCAA’s surveys of school employees and parents who drop-off/pick up kids at elementary schools across the province have identified persistent bad driving behaviours witnessed during the busy first week of school. This year, BCAA took the extra step with research firm Insights West to grade survey results.
“This isn’t about shaming parents,” says Shawn Pettipas, BCAA’s Director of Community Engagement. “It’s about raising awareness of what’s happening in school zones across the province and reminding parents to slow down and drive kind so no one gets hurt.”
Parent drivers score an F grade for illegal parking with 67% of respondents seeing that happen. They also get an F for unsafe drop offs/pick ups: 61% saw it outside designated areas and 62% witnessed parents allowing and even encouraging kids to cross the road unsafely.
School zone speeding was witnessed by 56% and remains a concern – earning parents a D grade. Another D was given with 51% noting selfish driving behaviours including blocking traffic, not letting others go and not apologizing for obvious driving errors.
Some improvements were reported in levels of distracted and aggressive driving. While 39% still witnessed cell phone use behind the wheel, 23% said it was better than last year. Aggressive driving, including honking and using profanities in school zones was seen by 23% of respondents; also lower than last year.
“It’s still not good enough, but it is heartening to see a few behaviours improving,” says Pettipas. “We’ll keep encouraging parents to slow down, park legally and be kinder to each other – our hope is that parent drivers will consider this throughout the entire school year.”
For school zone safety tips, visit BCAA.com
For further information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Sara Holland, BCAA
About the BCAA Insights West survey
Results based on an online study conducted from September 6 to 10, 2019 among a representative sample of 869 adults in British Columbia, including 192 who currently serve as principals, teachers or school staff at a British Columbia elementary school, or who are parents or guardians who drop off and/or pick up a child from school. The margin of error for this data —which measures sample variability—is +/- 7.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies between totals are due to rounding. Letter grading system is calculated based on relative ranking of scores for the frequency of observing parents conducting certain behaviours during pick-up and drop-off times at schools in BC.
The most trusted organization in British Columbia by its Members, BCAA serves 1 in 3 B.C. households with industry-leading products including home, car and travel insurance, roadside assistance, Evo Car Share and full automotive services at BCAA’s Auto Service Centres. BCAA has a long history focused on keeping kids safe on the road and at play through community programs such as its School Safety Patrol, Child Passenger Safety and BCAA Play Here. Please visit bcaa.com.