School Zone Safety
School zones can be dangerous places for kids walking, biking or even getting picked up or dropped off at school. In 2009, 42 traffic accidents involving kids under the age of 14 occurred on Manitoba streets.
As National Coordinator of the School Safety Patrol program, CAA Manitoba is dedicated to promoting school zone safety in our province.
Reduced Speed Limits In School Zones
CAA Manitoba is a strong supporter of reduced speed limits in school zones. In 2012, we consulted on this proposed amendment to the Highway Traffic Act and were pleased to see changes enacted in September 2013.
As of September 2014, school zones in many Manitoban municipalities have implemented reduced speed limits in their school zones.
About the legislation:
- Municipalities are now allowed to set maximum speed limits in school zones by the following guidelines:
- As low as 30 km/h where the regular posted speed limit is up to 80 km/h
- As low at 50 km/h where the regular posted speed limit it greater than 81 km/h
- Schools may apply for reduced speed limits through their municipality
- Regional roads will not see reduced school zone speed limits
Together, we can make our roads safer by following these simple DO's and DON'Ts of school zone safety.
- Slow down. Slow to a safe speed where you can. Carefully watch for kids crossing in between parked cars.
- Stop for buses. When a bus’ lights are flashing, it means that children are getting in or out. Traffic must stop in both directions until the lights stop flashing – and no sooner.
- Put your car in park. When dropping off your children, don’t just come to a stop, but put your vehicle in park while they exit.
- Pick a spot. Discuss with your child a designated pick-up and drop-off spot that is easily and safely accessible. That way, kids aren’t wandering the streets to find their ride home.
- Always signal. Signal when changing lanes, turning onto another street or when moving from a parked position.
- Don't be distracted. Put down the coffee or cell phone; place your hands on the wheel and keep your eyes on the road.
- Don't park in no parking or no stopping zones. Waiting drivers may become impatient and attempt unsafe manoeuvres to pass, putting you and your child directly in harm’s way.
- Don't idle. If you stop for longer than 10 seconds, it is more fuel efficient to shut your car off and turn it back on when it’s time to go.
- Don't roll through stop signs. Make a complete stop at every stop sign and check for traffic both on the road and the sidewalk.
- Don't ignore School Safety Patrols. Patrols are there for one purpose: to protect youngsters as they cross the street. When crossing guards extend their flags and enter the street you must come to a complete stop and wait for all pedestrians to cross, proceeding only when the patrol has returned to the curb.
School Zone Safety Assessments
To help pinpoint the most concerning traffic problems in our school zones, CAA conducts a Back to School Safety Assessment each year at three schools in Winnipeg.
Staff at CAA Manitoba work with a team of traffic experts, including members of the Winnipeg Police Service and the Manitoba School Boards Association to monitor safety and traffic violations in school zones during peak periods.
To see the results of what we observed during these Assessments, follow the links below: