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Parents report dangerous driving in school zones: CAA survey

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With children back at school this week, a new survey by the CAA of South Central Ontario suggests that more parents are witnessing unsafe driving in school zones.

“A lot of times people are just, you know they’re not paying attention to who has the right of way, and stuff like that,” said parent Kristen Trevelyan, whose three children attend an elementary school in northwest London.

While she praised the work of the crossing guards, she said drivers take far too many risks with children around.

“Another thing, not exactly this intersection but just up here, a lot of people run through school buses, constantly,” she explained.

She’s not alone when it comes to witnessing unsafe driver behaviours in school zones.

According the survey by CAA, “82 per cent of Ontario parents have witnessed dangerous driving behaviours in school zones and more than half (55 per cent) consider the roads around their child’s school to be unsafe.”

CAA Community Relations Manager Tracy Marshall said this represents a “concerning” increase over last year.

“So 82 per cent saw that speeding, double parking, and stopping in undesignated areas constituted the sort of unsafe behaviour,” she said.

The survey also points the finger of blame at parents themselves in some cases.

“In fact, survey respondents believe that parents in a hurry (38 per cent), too much congestion (33 per cent) and parents not following the drop off or pick up procedures contribute the most to unsafe driving behaviours in school zones,” the survey reads.

Kristen Trevelyan said this type of driving is all too common at her own children’s school.

“Oh no, it’s usually the parents going into the school. They’re all in a rush to get in there, get their kids, [and] get back out. Everybody just wants to get in there first and be done, [because] our lineup is usually very, very long,” she said.

The CAA survey found 77 per cent of parents in Ontario support the use of automated speed enforcement in school zones, and 75 per cent said it should be permanent.

“Collisions in school zones are never something that anyone wants to sort of hear about. So, slowing down in school zones is one of the easiest ways to sort of keep school zones safe,” said Marshall. 

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