The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) today conducted its 7th annual safety assessment test near three schools, Ecole Victoria-Albert School, Meadows West School and Lord Roberts Community School, and spotted nearly 1,100 situations of dangerous driving between 7:30 a.m and 9 a.m. during the assessment, CBC News is reporting. The worst offence was speeding, with 352 heavy-footed drivers spotted.
“The results this morning came back very disappointing,” said Mike Mager, president and CEO of CAA Manitoba. “It’s very concerning.”
One driver was on the phone going 70 km/h in a school zone when he blew through a red light, Mager said. Observation teams also spotted a cyclist texting and multiple drivers passing stopped school buses. “We have to have people pay attention,” Mager said.
Other infractions included 103 stopping violations, such as drivers failing to stop properly at a crosswalk, and 218 lane-change issues, such a a failure to signal.
Last year, the observation teams had spotted 548 drivers being dangerous behind the wheel. Mager said that the observation teams were using a new app to track the infractions, which could have resulted in more accurate results showing a higher number.
Mager added that he doesn’t think anyone deliberately speeds through a school zone, so they need to talk about how to make signs more visible with the city and the province .
Distracted driving in Manitoba carries five demerits and a $200 fine. Meanwhile, the fine for speeding in a school zone between September and June ranges from $180 to $312.