School Zone Safety

CAA's Back to School Safety Tips

Saskatchewan schools are opening this fall. Thousands of excited students will either be walking or driven to and from school. CAA would like to remind motorists to be alert when driving through school zones.

A  CAA National Poll and recent CAA research indicates that school zones are becoming more dangerous. Parents with children aged 4 to 13 are reporting an increase every year in unsafe driving practices in school zones. 92% of parents have noticed one or more bad driving behaviours in 2019 compared to 86% in 2017. Speeding and distracted driving are the top two hazardous driving behaviours performed by motorists in a school zone. Jaywalking and failing to look both ways before crossing the street were the top two risky behaviours for pedestrians including students.

The safety of our children and all road users is a priority for CAA Saskatchewan. Learn more about our CAA School Zone Assessments and request to conduct one in your community.

Through CAA’s School Safety Patrol® program student patrollers have been helping their classmates safely cross streets and learning more about pedestrian safety. The CAA School Safety Patrol® program is one of Canada’s largest youth volunteer program that helps young Canadians build valuable leadership skills. CAA has owned and managed the school safety patrol program in Saskatchewan since 1951

CAA has helpful tips and safety advice for students, parents and motorists to ensure everyone’s safety in school zones.

Students & Pedestrians

  • Stop, look both ways, listen and think before safely crossing the street.
  • Never run out in traffic or between parked cars, buses or buildings.
  • Keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings. 
  • Refrain from visiting with friends when you are at an intersection ready to cross.
  • Don’t use your cell phone for texting, phoning, or playing games, while walking or cycling.
  • Keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings. Make eye contact with the drivers before proceeding into the intersection.
  • Watch for CAA School Safety Patrollers on duty and follow their instructions.
  • Walk on the sidewalk and cross at street corners with traffic lights or at a crosswalk.
  • Walk together – there is safety in numbers! Work together as a team ensuring it is safe to cross.
  • Cycling? Learn how to safely walk your bike across the street and other cycling tips at caask.ca/bikesafety.

Parents & Guardians

  • Teach children about the rules of the road – always stop, look both ways, and listen before safely crossing the street.
  • Plan your child’s walking route to and from school and walk with them to better familiarize themselves with the school and surrounding area. 
  • Always have an older student or adult walk with younger children.
  • Good walking gear is important including comfortable shoes with traction.
  • Obey the “no stopping” zones in front of schools.
  • Know your route and talk with the school administrator in advance to determine drop off, pick-up, no stopping and parking zones. Use the designated drop off and pick up areas only.
  • Park a couple of blocks way to avoid traffic congestion and safely walk the rest of the way with your children. Don’t park illegally.

Motorists

  • Observe and obey the posted speed limits and hours that the speed limits are enforced.
  • Slow down in school zones; remain alert when driving near playgrounds and parks.
  • Avoid distracted driving and focus on the road. Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near collision than non-distracted drivers.
  • Be aware of the CAA School Safety Patrollers on duty during school days.
  • Watch for 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.

CAA School Zone Safety Assessment

Unsafe driving practices in school zones are still a concern for school staff, parents, and community partners, according to school zone safety assessments conducted by CAA Saskatchewan.

A before school and after school assessment conducted recently at a school in Melfort, Saskatchewan resulted in tracked risky behaviours for motorists and pedestrians. The top risky behaviours performed by motorists included speeding in a school zone, not wearing a seat belt, not using signal lights for a lane change, and not stopping at a stop sign. Pedestrian infractions included no stopping at a crosswalk and distracted walking while crossing the street (use of mobile phone while walking).

Previous CAA School Zone Safety Assessments have been conducted in Regina. CAA Saskatchewan partnered with Regina Police Service, the Regina Catholic and Regina Public School Divisions for the CAA School Zone Safety Assessment. Teams of staff from CAA, the school divisions, and like-minded organizations such as Sask. Safety Council and the City of Regina, participated in the assessments by observing traffic and tracking risky driver, pedestrian and cyclist behaviours.

“School zone safety should be the concern of our entire community,” said Chief Evan Bray with Regina Police Service. “With numerous schools, in every area of the city, our motorists need to possess an ever-present awareness to ensure safety for our children. I am very appreciative to have CAA Saskatchewan and our school division partners come together to focus on raising awareness and education around this important issue. Observing and obeying all posted school zone signs and traffic safety laws will protect our children and ultimately enhance community safety.”

See the full results of the CAA School Zone Safety Assessments:

The CAA School Zone Safety Assessment program is owned and managed by CAA Saskatchewan. To find out more about the assessment, contact madelaine.michell@caask.ca. To request a CAA School Zone Safety Assessment in your community, please complete the attached form.

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