Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

August 31, 2007 11:11 ET

CAA Reminds Motorists: Be on the Alert During Back-to-School Season

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 31, 2007) - With summer quickly coming to an end and children pouring into the streets of communities across Canada as they return to school, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) reminds drivers to be aware of children on foot, on bicycles, and near buses and school zones.

In a survey of 1009 Canadians conducted for the CAA by Harris/Decima, only 61% of respondents indicated that they felt Canadians drive their cars in a safe manner. The study also found that 22% of Canadians felt that safety in and around schools in their community was getting worse over the past year.

"All motorists need to be aware of children and others on foot and be particularly alert in residential neighbourhoods and near schools", said David Armour, President of CAA. "We know that our children are infamous for their spontaneity and as drivers we need to compensate for their lack of experience".

To help protect children during this back-to-school season, CAA urges motorists to:

- Drive cautiously and within the posted speed limits especially in school zones and residential neighbourhoods

- Be sure to come to a complete stop at all intersections

- Watch for school bus and school zone warning signs

- Watch for CAA School Safety Patroller crossing guards wearing bright green vests at crosswalks

- Be aware of the potential for children to dart out from between parked cars, school buses or buildings

- Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading

Parents can help their children stay safe on their way to school by:

- Teaching their children to always stop, look both ways and listen before crossing the street

- Practicing a safe route in advance of school starting if children walk to school

- Waiting for the signal of the crossing guard or School Safety Patroller when crossing the street in a school zone

- If riding the school bus, teach children about school bus safety - most schools and/or school boards provide this service to children who ride the bus

"Each year in Canada, thousands of children are hit by a motor vehicle while walking, running or playing outdoors" said Armour. "To keep our children safe, drivers must be on the alert".

For information on CAA School Safety Patrol program in your community, contact your local CAA Club by visiting www.caa.ca.

About the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

CAA is a federation of 9 automobile clubs serving 5 million members through 148 offices across Canada. CAA provides a wide range of member services and works to improve travelling and motoring conditions at home and around the world, including national advocacy efforts on both traffic safety and public policy issues that affect Canadian motorists.

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