WINNIPEG — As kids head back to the classroom this week, CAA Manitoba is reminding motorists to be extra careful behind the wheel.
With the return of the 30 km/h speed limit in school zones (as of September 1), more children will be on the streets in the coming days.
Data provided to CAA by Manitoba Public Insurance shows dangerous driving behaviours, such as texting and driving and excessive speed, are still prevalent on local streets.
“We all have a role to play in keeping our school zones safe,” said Elisha Dacey, communications manager, CAA Manitoba.
“These dangerous driving behaviours can lead to serious consequences and CAA is urging motorists to slow down and follow the rules of the road when driving through school zones.”
According to CAA, between August and September 2021, the number of fatalities involving distracted driving dropped by half compared to the same months in 2020. That period generally saw distracted driving and other risky driving behaviours increase following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. However, CAA notes that in 2021, it was still 25 percent higher than normal.
MPI data also revealed convictions for excessive speed in August and September 2021 declined versus 2020, but remain considerably higher than seen during the same months in 2019.
“While the statistics are now closer to back in line with previous years, all of these situations continue to involve high-risk driving behaviours,” added Dacey.
“When you’re behind the wheel, you have the responsibility to look out for everyone else around you, including parents, guardians and children.”
CAA is reminding motorists that passing a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing and stop arm extended is an offence that carries a $672 fine and demerit points.