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picture of the stop sign on the side of a school bus

CAA North & East Ontario reminds drivers to slow down as new school year starts

Sept. 24, 2020, OTTAWA – As students and parents start an unprecedented new school year, CAA North & East Ontario is reminding drivers to slow down in designated school zones and practice caution while behind the wheel.

After months of distance learning, many schools across the region are reopening for in-person classes, meaning drivers can expect to see increased activity in and around school zones. Drivers should always practice caution by respecting speed limits and traffic signs. Walkways may be hidden, and students can swiftly dart out in front of passing vehicles.

According to a CAA poll, nearly 25 per cent of drivers have seen a near miss or collision in a school zones and more than half of them involved a child. The poll also found 70 per cent of Canadians have seen someone speeding in a school zone.

Given the unique health and safety protocols this year, many students may be wearing masks as they walk to school or depart the bus. These masks may impair sightlines for some students as they cross streets in and around schools, emphasizing the importance of drivers slowing down in these areas.

The CAA has long been focused on ensuring the safety of pedestrians on our roads, especially students. CAA has had a long standing commitment to school zone safety, through their CAA School Safety Patrol® program. Working with police services, busing consortiums, school boards, schools and teachers, the program works to keep students safe in and around schools.

Now in its 91st year, CAA School Safety Patrollers are student volunteers that keep their peers safe in school zones and on school buses each day. Over 900 schools across Ontario participate in the CAA School Safety Patrol program, with some 3,000 Patrollers active in North and Eastern Ontario. Patrollers can be identified by their distinct CAA-branded lime green reflective vests, which help with visibility.

For more information on the program, please visit caaschoolsafetypatrol.com. Check out this handy CAA brochure for more tips on how to keep safe in school zones.

ABOUT CAA NORTH & EAST ONTARIO
CAA North & East Ontario (CAA NEO) provides more than 300,000 Members in the region with emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, Member savings, and comprehensive insurance services. CAA NEO is part of a larger federation of eight CAA Clubs across Canada committed to providing exceptional service to more than six million members coast-to-coast, as well as advocating on issues of concern including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection. To join, visit CAANEO.ca.

For more information, please contact:
Marco Vigliotti
Communications and Public Relations Specialist
CAA North & East Ontario
Phone: 613 820-1890 X 6415
Email: mvigliotti@caaneo.on.ca