MEDIA RELEASE: CAA Manitoba reminding drivers to keep safety top of mind as students return to school!October 18, 20222 min read
Winnipeg, MB, September 3, 2020 – COVID-19 has changed the way we do many things and, the return to school is no different. Many Manitoba students are heading back to school next week and CAA Manitoba (CAA MB) is reminding everyone to slow down and take extra caution while travelling through school zones.
Pedestrian safety begins with drivers, and this year more than ever, it’s important to put away distractions such as phones and be extra attentive in school zones, be it a parent driving or a child walking or biking to school.
“As students prepare to reunite with friends and classmates after a six-month hiatus, many might forget to take the extra precautions needed to stay safe. This means there is an even bigger responsibility to watch for children travelling to and from school,” says Heather Mack, manager of government and community relations for CAA MB.
Drivers can also use the following CAA tips to ensure they are staying safe in school zones:
- Make eye contact with children: With the excitement of back to school, anticipate that children may not easily see or hear your moving vehicle. Make eye contact with passing pedestrians and cyclists.
- Reduce traffic by walking: Incorporate a short walk into your commute to school. CAA encourages parents to park a block away and walk to school, if possible, to reduce congestion and make school zones safer.
- Slow down: Know the speed limit in your neighbourhood’s school zones and respect them.
- Watch for more school buses: Always stop for the buses’ flashing lights and wait for children to get safely on or off. Stay alert and watch for children or parents crossing the road when the bus moves on.
- Choose a safe spot to drop off and pick up your children from school: Follow your school’s rules and don’t park illegally, it can put your child’s safety at risk. Instead, use the designated drop off areas or consider a spot a bit farther away from school that is easily accessible and safe.
The above tips are crucial in maintaining a safe school zone. According to CAA poll, nearly 25 per cent of drivers reported witnessing a near miss or collision in a school zone, more than half of which involved a child. The poll also revealed 70 per cent of Canadians said they have witnessed someone speeding in a school zone.
CAA supports safety in school zones through the CAA School Safety Patrol® program. The program was developed to protect, educate and empower elementary school children on safe road-crossing practices.