WINNIPEG — CAA Manitoba and Winnipeg police were out at local schools Wednesday morning keeping track of drivers behaving badly behind the wheel.
The Back to School Safety Assessment is an annual exercise where teams are stationed outside of three school zones predetermined as “problem areas.”
Teams found 1,616 instances of risky behaviour, such as distracted driving, speeding and disobeying traffic signs.
Observation teams were out at Sister MacNamara School, Ecole Howden and Ecole Viscount Alexander from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
“In the past few years, we have seen more effort and awareness across the board to increase safety in school zones,” said Mike Mager, president and CEO of CAA Manitoba. “We have seen some encouraging things today, and many motorists have taken this message to heart, but unfortunately, not everyone.”
Besides speeding, the most common infractions this year included:
- Failing to stop at a stop line, crosswalk, for patrols or rolling stop — 587 instances
- Distracted driving — 79 instances
- Changing lanes illegally — 185 instances
Other unusual behaviours spotted:
- Mother feeding baby a bottle in a rear facing car seat — while driving
- Driver going backwards down one street
- Drivers and cyclists with two earphones in
- One driver, travelling at 55 km/h in a 30 km/h zone, flew through a crosswalk where a child was waiting to cross
- One school bus going 39 km/h
- One child cyclist, without helmet, reading a poster while weaving all over the road
“Until this number is 0, there is still work to be done to increase the safety of our kids while they go to and from school. It all comes down to making decisions with safety in mind,” Mager added.
Last year, CAA found 1,531 examples of risky behaviour near Grosvenor School, Mulvey School and Samuel Burland School.