Ottawa police said they plan to enforce speed limits and traffic safety in school zones following complaints that many drivers are ignoring crossing guards.
Crossing guards have made 40 complaints so far this school year, according to the Ottawa Safety Council, which employs 159 crossing guards across the city.
The complaints are often about parents, says council spokeswoman Kathleen Cameron.
"Often our crossing guards encounter parents who just don't want to observe the rules of the road — who are modelling pretty poor behaviour to their children," said Cameron.
Some crossing guards have threatened to quit
Bridlewood parent Caroline Cross convinced the city to put a school crossing in her neighbourhood — and then took the job as a crossing guard — after seeing the dangers her own daughter faced on the way to and from school.
She said she now faces those dangers herself and said she's had drivers ignore her when she enters the road dressed in her neon uniform and with her stop sign raised.
"They just went straight through the intersection — even with my stop sign up, even with children crossing," she said.
Cameron said some crossing guards have threatened to quit.
"We actually had one who was going to turn in her equipment — she didn't want to do it anymore," said Cameron. "She's been doing it for about five years already and has seen such an increase in the lack of respect motorists are showing crossing guards."
There haven't been any injuries to crossing guards or children at school crossings so far this year in Ottawa, but in October a crossing guard in Brockville, Ont., was seriously injured when he was hit by a van at a crosswalk near a school.
Ottawa police said they plan to conduct their safety blitz in school zones when school resumes next week.