As kids and parents head back to school this year, safety is top of mind for many. However, BC drivers have some serious homework to do after receiving a ‘D’ grade while completing a new BCAA survey – exposing dangerous knowledge gaps when it comes to driving in school zones.
The survey, part of this year’s BCAA Back to School Driving Safety campaign, showed that 74% of drivers surveyed don’t know how to tell when a school zone ends and 69% are confused about stopping in school zones. Further, more than half (60%) reported witnessing drivers acting hostile near schools and 80% reported witnessing speeding in school zones.
5 key driving tips to keep kids safe
To help drivers brush up on their school zone knowledge and adhere to their responsibility of following the rules of the road, BCAA has five key tips to keep kids safe during the school year, including:
1. Build in time to prevent rushing: Parents can feel pressure when it comes to dropping off and picking up their children. Anticipate school zone congestion and give yourself extra time to get through it safely.
2. Expect the unexpected: Look out for safety risks such as kids darting from cars, along with kids who are cycling and other pedestrians.
3. Follow school zone rules: Respect your school’s drop-off and pick-up procedures, along with traffic rules such as driving within the speed limit, stopping at marked cross walks, and not driving distracted.
4. Reduce congestion: Consider walking, cycling with your child or parking a few blocks away and walking your child the rest of the way to school.
5. Focus on what you can control: No matter what’s going on around you, be patient and courteous. Reacting with extreme frustration may aggravate the situation and increase the risk of unsafe behaviours.
These results are based on an online survey of a representative sample of 1,001 adult British Columbians (including 123 parents/guardians of elementary or middle school aged children) surveyed using Leger’s panel, LEO, from August 12-14, 2022. The school zone safety quiz included seven questions and on average respondents got 50% of them correct. As a non-random internet survey, a margin of error is not reported. For comparison, a probability sample of n=1,001 would have a margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Any discrepancies between totals are due to rounding.
BCAA (British Columbia Automobile Association) is a purpose-driven Member-based organization delivering peace of mind to our Members and customers across BC with proven protection and mobility solutions as Canada’s Most Trusted brand in association with CAA (Canadian Automobile Association). With more than one million Members, BCAA serves 1 in 3 BC households with industry-leading products, including home, car, travel, and small business insurance, Evo Car Share, roadside assistance, and full auto repair at BCAA’s Auto Service Centres across the province. BCAA also has a long history of keeping our roads safe and giving back in ways that improve the lives of British Columbians and communities throughout our province.