School drop-offs are more dangerous than parents think, and it’s the parents themselves who are to blame.
Unsafe parking (like using the opposite side of the street) and U-turns put children at risk, according to a study from York University, The Hospital for Sick Children, and the University of Toronto.
Researchers looked at 118 Toronto public elementary schools and found at least two instances of dangerous driving at 88 per cent of the schools.
“The biggest issue is mid-block crossing situations,” Toronto police Const. Clint Stibbe told CityNews on Thursday. A mid-block crossing is any crossing that isn’t marked, whether with a crosswalk, a traffic light, or another method.
“We need to make things safer for pedestrians, especially children.”
The study finds that physical changes, like moving the drop-off spot, could help.
“We urge that collision prevention approaches should include strategies to change the physical traffic environment, provide police enforcement and education to promote active transport to schools to reduce dangerous driving behavior,” Dr. Andrew Howard, a senior scientist and orthopaedic surgeon at Sick Kids, said in a statement.
Stibbe also said that children need to be more visible (by wearing brighter or more reflective clothing, cross at appropriate locations, and pay attention to their surroundings.
“That being said, the responsibility is on the driver to operate a motor vehicle safely.”