September 3, 2004

Parents often worst drivers in school zones, says BCAA

Burnaby, B.C. – According to Ravinder Toor, Manager of the BCAA Traffic Safety
Foundation’s Youth Programs, parents are often the worst drivers in school zones.

“The largest complaint we hear from the principals, teachers and students involved in the program is that parents are the primary culprits of bad
driving behaviour in school zones,” says Toor. “Many of them are so caught up
in getting their children to school that they disregard the safety of other
children and adults.”

Approximately 1,800 Canadian children and youths are hospitalized each year due to pedestrian injuries, says Young Drivers of Canada.

“We need to keep in mind that younger children often lack the skills to make safe judgments about traffic. Children are also physically smaller which makes it harder for drivers to see them and for them to see us. The blind area to the rear of vehicle is much larger than the one to the front making it more difficult to see if there is a child behind your vehicle.”

Young Drivers recommends a technique called “Ground View”. “As you approach any vehicle you cannot see through, look for the feet of a pedestrian about to walk in front of you or for the wheels of a bicycle,” said a company news release.

The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation advises parents to do their part to keep school zones safe:

  • Be alert and cautious when entering school zones, especially at this time of year when children are more likely to walk to school.

  • If you’re dropping off or picking up your child, use only designated drop-off/pick-up zones identified by the school.
  • Don’t pull U-turns or back up your vehicle in school zones. Often drivers can’t see children behind their vehicle.
  • Obey the signs. Don’t park in “No Parking” zones and don’t stop in “No Stopping” zones.
  • Leave more time than usual to get to where you’re going. Post-secondary schools are also back in session which means more cars will be on the road than during summer.

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