October 21, 2016 7:06 pm
Updated: October 21, 2016 7:32 pm

Canadian survey finds dangerous driving still too common in school zones

WATCH ABOVE: A recent survey by Canadian automobile association says nearly 2/3 of Canadians have witnessed at least one dangerous driving practice in school zones, almost one third of drivers reported witnessing a near miss or collision.

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It’s where kids are supposed to feel safe crossing the street but results from a recent survey suggest school zones are still dangerous places for pedestrians.

A recent survey by Canadian Automobile Association found nearly two-thirds of respondents have witnessed at least one dangerous driving practice in a school zone.

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“Drivers are brushing past school zones and it’s very scary when you seen those near misses,” Allison Pike, the Alberta Motor Association’s school safety patrol regional coordinator, said. “And drivers are oblivious to the fact that near misses even happened.”

“All drivers need to be aware of the distractions they have with them,” she said, adding that could involve anything from using smartphones to putting on makeup to eating food.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan traffic safety blitz focuses on school zone safety

Almost one-third of drivers polled reported witnessing a near miss or collision. They said more than half of those involved a child. Respondents also said they witnessed speeding, distracted driving and drivers not stopping for a school bus.

“Here in Alberta, the statistics are actually higher than the national average,” Pike said. “It’s 75 per cent with speeding (in) school zones and 55 per cent with distracted drivers.”

It’s why Coaldale RCMP Staff Sgt. Glenn Henry says drivers should follow the basics and pay attention.

READ MORE: Number of motorists illegally passing school buses up in Lethbridge

“We are asking people to park in the appropriate parking areas, not to block school buses, not to do u-turns and not (to) be distracted.”

He also says parents should talk to their kids about being a safe pedestrian. The RCMP recommends kids:

  • Not walk between school buses or parked cars;
  • Make eye contact with the driver before crossing. If you can’t see the driver of a vehicle, chances are the driver can’t see you;
  • Stay alert and don’t be a distracted pedestrian.

“Sound-blocking headphones really have no place in safety,” Henry said. “When you’re going to cross the sidewalk, you need all of your sight and hearing. Be smart, be safe and get there in one piece.”

Pike says although pedestrians can do their part, it still boils down to drivers keeping their eyes on the road in order to change those statistics and keep school zones safe.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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