Annual BCAA School Zone Safety Survey shows unsafe driving, including speeding and unsafe drop offs/pick ups continues to put kids in danger
B.C. parents get a C- for their driving behaviours in school zones according to this year’s annual BCAA School Zone Safety Survey with illegal parking, unsafe drop-offs/pick-ups and speeding the issues most witnessed during this year’s first week back to class.
For several years, BCAA’s surveys of school employees and parents who drop-off/pick up kids at elementary schools across the province have identified persistent bad driving behaviours witnessed during the busy first week of school. This year, BCAA took the extra step with research firm Insights West to grade survey results.
“This isn’t about shaming parents,” says Shawn Pettipas, BCAA’s Director of Community Engagement. “It’s about raising awareness of what’s happening in school zones across the province and reminding parents to slow down and drive kind so no one gets hurt.”
Parent drivers score an F grade for illegal parking with 67% of respondents seeing that happen. They also get an F for unsafe drop-offs/pickups: 61% saw it outside designated areas and 62% witnessed parents allowing and even encouraging kids to cross the road unsafely.
School zone speeding was witnessed by 56% and remains a concern – earning parents a D grade. Another D was given with 51% noting selfish driving behaviours including blocking traffic, not letting others go and not apologizing for obvious driving errors.
Some improvements were reported in levels of distracted and aggressive driving. While 39% still witnessed cell phone use behind the wheel, 23% said it was better than last year. Aggressive driving, including honking and using profanities in school zones was seen by 23% of respondents; also lower than last year.
“It’s still not good enough, but it is heartening to see a few behaviours improving,” says Pettipas. “We’ll keep encouraging parents to slow down, park legally and be kinder to each other – our hope is that parent drivers will consider this throughout the entire school year.”
For school zone safety tips, visit BCAA.com