Always Be Alert in School Zones! That's the Safety Message from CAA After a Horse Interrupts a School Zone Safety Assessment at Eastend School.
On Tuesday, May 30, 2023, a CAA School Zone Safety Assessment was conducted at Eastend School in Eastend, Saskatchewan. The assessment took place before school from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., lunch dismissal from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., and after school from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Staff from the Town of Eastend, the Shaunavon RCMP detachment, and community volunteers worked onsite in teams to track risky behaviours performed by motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists in the school zone.
During the afternoon assessment an unbridled horse wandered unexpectedly on the street. Traffic had to be halted from all directions as RCMP and volunteers captured and led the horse to safety with no impact to students. An unusual situation, but also a good reminder that motorists need to be aware and alert at all times. Not only do motorists have to pay attention to school zone speed limits and adjust driving habits according to the weather and road conditions but also remember to watch for students who are often in a hurry and excited to get to and from school each day.
Photo courtesy of Bonnie Lingenfelter
Bonnie Lingenfelter, Regional Bylaw Officer for the Town of Shaunavon, remarked “A community big or small, safety should matter for all.”
“The CAA School Zone Safety Assessment is an online application (app) that tracks the identified risky behaviours and ultimately provides education and awareness about the importance of school zone safety,” said Angel Blair, Senior Communications Specialist for CAA Saskatchewan.
“The assessment tool is free of charge and can be booked through CAA Saskatchewan.” School or community staff must make themselves available for onsite tracking and can work with CAA to establish the risky behaviours to be tracked. The results are collected and given to the school community to share with staff, students, families, community partners, and decision makers regarding necessary steps to improve the safety in their school zones.
The results of the May 30th Eastend assessment identified the top hazardous driving behaviours that motorists perform in the school zone are failing to yield or stop, speeding, and failing to signal to turn or to change lanes. The top risky pedestrian behaviours are jaywalking and failing to look both ways before crossing the street. The top risky cyclist behaviours are not wearing a bicycle helmet, not dismounting the bike to cross the street, and failing to look both ways.
CAA reminds motorists that we can work together to make our school zones safe by:
- Observing and obeying the posted speed limits and hours that the speed limits are enforced.
- Eliminating distracted driving.
- Obeying traffic laws.
- Understanding and abiding by the ‘no stopping’ and ‘no parking’ signage.
It’s good safety practice for pedestrians to STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and THINK before crossing streets and busy intersections. Students and families, please remember to cross at crosswalks and marked intersections and never jaywalk. Avoid being a distracted pedestrian – be alert and attentive by putting your mobile devices away and removing headphones and earphones.
CAA reminds families and cyclists that bicycles are considered, by law, a vehicle on the road and cyclists must obey the same rules when travelling on the road. If you dismount and walk alongside your bike, you’re considered a pedestrian and have the same rights as a pedestrian.
The combined number of risky behaviours at Eastend School during the CAA School Zone Safety Assessment is 198.
Detailed results are available here.
For further information contact:
Senior Communications Specialist
Regional Bylaw Officer
Town of Shaunavon
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Eastend