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CAA & CAA-Quebec To Improve Road Safety in School Zones

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The survey shows that much more could be done across the country to protect children on their way to school. Photo nd700 / Adobe Stock

In an effort to improve road safety, CAA-Quebec and the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) released a Canada-wide survey today on safe driving in school zones.

The survey shows that much more could be done across the country to protect children on their way to school. The study, carried out by an independent firm, shows that Quebec leads the country in the variety of measures it has put in place and the synergy between the stakeholders involved.

Millions of Canadian children set out for school every day, and the survey indicates almost one in three drivers (30%) has witnessed a collision or near miss in a school zone.

“This study is the first of its kind to identify best practices in Canada, such as school zone safety measures, programs, and policies,” said Ian Jack, Vice President, Public Affairs, CAA National. “For each province and territory, it identifies current practices and provides inspiring, concrete examples. We want to inform and equip decision makers and everyone who wants to keep children safe on their way to school.”

School patrols teach road safety to 50,000 children a year

For nearly 100 years, CAA member organizations across Canada have been working to keep school zones safe. Each year, more than 50,000 children participate in the School Safety Patrol Program, helping school bus drivers keep their passengers safe and guiding pedestrians in school zones.

CAA-Quebec works in tandem with the province’s Ministère des Transports

“The CAA-Quebec Foundation has developed a school safety patrol for primary school drop-off areas. With recent funding ($79,000) from Quebec’s road safety fund, Fonds de la sécurité routière, we’ll be able to evaluate the patrol’s effectiveness and enhance this addition to the existing school safety patrol program. The goal is to prevent tragic accidents by improving the sometimes hectic flow of traffic around schools in the morning,” said Sophie Gagnon, Vice President, Public Affairs and Road Safety at CAA-Quebec.

“Having school safety patrols in school drop-off areas is a positive step forward for the safety of pedestrians, especially our children. These types of initiatives help improve road safety in Quebec and that is why our government is investing in them this year. Quebec is a Canadian leader in road safety measures, and we need to continue our research efforts to maintain that track record,” said Quebec Transport Minister François Bonnardel.

Road safety around schools is everyone’s business

Everyone with a stake in keeping school routes safe—provinces, municipalities, school groups, and more —must work together. CAA plans to use the data from this survey to pursue a constructive dialogue with stakeholders.

The list of practices covered by the study, by province and territory, is available here (in French).

Finally, the Government of Canada could emulate the United States by creating a federal‒provincial‒territorial partnership for safe school travel, subsidizing actions to protect young people, and carrying out a school transportation planning exercise to support further investments in motorized and active transportation infrastructure.

 

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