Driving lesson

Insurer requests driving lessons in school safety zones

According to a survey by the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA), dangerous driving in school zones is common, especially during the back-to-school season.

Eighty percent of respondents said they had witnessed speeding in school zones, while 77% had witnessed distracted driving.

Seventy-four percent of BC drivers don’t know how to tell when a school zone is ending. Fortunately, most BC drivers (81%) know that the speed limit in school zones is 30 km/h and understand the laws on stopping school buses (88%).

But 69% of drivers surveyed are confused about stopping in school zones and 42% don’t know the speed limit after school hours.

These results are based on a investigation of 1,001 adults in British Columbia, including 123 parents/guardians of elementary and middle-aged children, conducted by Leger in August. The school zone safety quiz consisted of seven questions; on average, respondents got 50% correct answers, which is equivalent to a “D” grade.

Illegal parking in school zones is also common, with 78% saying it’s a problem and 69% saying they’ve seen parents encourage their children to break the rules to ring the school bell. Road rage and frustration at the wheel continue to be a problem, respondents report, with 60% having seen drivers acting hostile in school zones.

According to the BCAA, these bad driving behaviors put children at risk.

“School zones are such a unique environment, with pedestrians, scooters, bicycles and vehicles cruising around each other. When you think children’s lives are at stake, it’s imperative that we all play our part in minimizing the risk,” comments Dr. Ian Pike of Preventable, a BC community-based non-profit group against preventable injuries. . “Making sure you know the road safety laws and rules for school zones is something we should all do.”

These results follow the BCAAs investigation of last year, which found most British Columbians (68%) expected school zones to be more chaotic in 2021 as people get used to new post-pandemic drop-off and pick-up routines.

Nearly half of respondents last year (48%) thought school zones would be more dangerous due to distracted driving.

Similar to this year’s findings, the BCAA’s 2021 survey found that British Columbians had grown accustomed to seeing misbehavior in school zones in pre-pandemic times, with 75% witnessing speeding , 59% seeing aggressive driving and 68% noting that parent drivers do not stop at marked crosswalks.

Featured image by iStock.com/zenstock