Slow down, school is back in session.
September marks the beginning of a new school year for students, which means it also marks the return of speed limits in marked school zones, and Surrey and White Rock police encouraging drivers to use caution.
A 30 km/h speed limit is now in effect in marked school zones from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every school day. In addition, playground zones also have a 30 km/h limit every day from dawn to dusk. Regardless of being reminded about these speed limits at the beginning of every school-year, drivers around Surrey are still failing to adhere to best safety practices, police say.
Every year, 300 children from the Lower Mainland are involved in crashes, either walking or cycling, reads a release from Surrey Schools.
White Rock RCMP officers and policing volunteers patrolled Peace Arch Elementary and White Rock Elementary every day for the first week of school (Sept. 6 to 9).
“We issued many warnings reminding drivers of the school zone as well as a few tickets for speeding and cellphone use while driving,” said Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls, detachment commander of the White Rock RCMP.
“Additionally, dump trucks that were using the schools zone as a short cut were subject to safety inspections, with one resulting in an out-of-service notice to correct vehicle deficiencies. We will continue spot enforcement and our volunteer run speed watch program in the school zones throughout the fall.”
Next week, Surrey RCMP will once again employ their ‘Think of Me’ campaign. This project was launched in 2018 in partnership with ICBC to hand out ‘positive tickets’ made by Surrey students to encourage drivers to slow down.
“During the school year you are likely to see volunteers deployed and conducting speed watch in school zones throughout the city,” said Cpl. Vanessa Munn of Surrey RCMP.
“Our officers and volunteers deployments are determined by complaints received, so if members of our community have any traffic concerns, we encourage them to make a police report.”
Police were patrolling the areas of Port Kells Elementary, where they issued 11 speeding tickets for the first week of school and Port Kells Park, where RCMP ticketed 12 drivers with speeding.
According to ICBC, distracted-driving is the leading cause of drivers hitting pedestrians and cyclists, so motorists are reminded to keep their eyes and hands off their phone.