CAA Finds Drivers Taking Risks Behind the Wheel

CAA ManitobaCAA Manitoba was back at it on Wednesday, monitoring driver behaviour in three Winnipeg school zones.

The third annual school zone safety assessment looked at drivers for 90 minutes near Montrose School, Pacific Junction School and Polson School.

Observation teams found 1,679 instances of distracted drivers, speeders and other infractions that lead to risky behaviour behind the wheel during the short time they were out.

“We know that driving too fast for conditions continues to be a problem in school zones, that’s why we’re pleased the province is about to pass legislation, allowing municipalities to set lower speed limits in school zones,” CAA Manitoba president and CEO Mike Mager said. “But this morning we also saw motorists ignoring the stop lines, running red lights, changing lanes without signaling and we witnessed dozens of distracted drivers talking, texting and worse behind the wheel.”

Results:

  • Distracted driving — 146 people were either texting and talking, but some were eating and at least one was putting on makeup in the school zone.
  • Failing to stop at a stop line — 678 cars failed to stop at a crosswalk or stop sign, making it the largest infraction of the day.
  • Failing to obey road signs — 42 instances of motorists making illegal turns when outside of the designated times those turns are allowed.
  • Changing lanes illegally — 103 instances of motorists changing lanes without signaling or changing in the middle of an intersection.

One driver was observed travelling 77 km/h in a school zone — 27 km/h over the posted speed limit. Winnipeg police pulled the driver over to collection his information and will be issuing a ticket at a later date.

“What these results tell us is that motorists are taking chances in the number one place they should be as careful as possible: school zones.”

Last year, CAA found that instances of distracted driving actually increased — nearly double from those observed in 2011.

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