A lot of eyes were watching Winnipeg drivers going through school zones on Wednesday.

It's the third year CAA Manitoba and Winnipeg police looked for risky driving habits as part of it school safety zone assessment, using teams of observers between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. CT.

Speeding was the biggest offence with most drivers caught doing an average of about 62 km/h in the 50 km/h zones.

In one case, a car was caught doing 77 km/h, according to Liz Peters, CAA Manitoba's public and government affairs manager.

Officers were not targeting drivers for tickets but were recording speeds with radar guns while Peters and other CAA officials took notes.


A police officer uses a radar gun to track the speeds of passing drivers on Grant Avenue near Montrose Street on Wednesday. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)

"We’re extremely disturbed by what we saw," said Peters.

Not only was speed a problem in school zones but so was distracted driving.

Peters also saw a man texting at a red light and when the light turned green, he went through the intersection without looking up.

"We watched him as the individual was looking down at his cell phone, texting," she said.

Tamara Fricker, who walks her kids across Grant Avenue every morning to Montrose elementary school, said she looks forward to the day when the province lowers the speed limit in school zones.

CAA's most absurd witnessed offenses

  • Someone waxing her eyebrows at a stop sign.
  • One person driving with a coffee in one hand, bagel in the other.
  • A parent doubling a helmet-less child on a bicycle.
  • A school bus making a left turn where no left allowed.

"I know the patrol supervisors are often concerned for their safety because people are in such a hurry. The speed limit is 50 and nobody obeys it," she said.

In total, police spotted 146 instances of distracted driving including texting during the 90-minute assessment. Almost 700 cars failed to stop at a cross walk or stop sign, 42 cars made illegal turns and more than 100 cars were spotted changing lanes without signaling.

Parent Lisa Farrell said the numbers are shocking.

"It’s surprising to me, but I just think people just think that you know, everything will be fine, it won’t happen. Nothing bad will happen," she said.