School zone safety in focus this month (and all school year)

Callie Hermanson
Lakeside Leader

Across Alberta, children are learning how to get to school and back home safely during annual Traffic Safety Day events.

There is plenty of room for improvement.

During the 2015-16 school year, nearly 50 per cent of drivers involved in collisions with school buses committed an error – the most common of which was following too closely.

Peace Officer Mark Becker says Slave Lake Peace Officers will be focusing their attention on traffic violations in school zones. He says an example of violations officers will be looking at include parking too close to a crosswalk or curb that poses a visibility risk to drivers.

Becker explains that they often see people parking on the crosswalk or within the five meter radius, which makes it difficult for children to cross the road safely.

Becker adds one area of concern Peace Officers are noticing while patrolling the schools are motorists turning left of centre within these zones. Warnings have been issued to motorists, he says, however at some point tickets will be issued. The fine is $233 and two demerit points against your license.

“We are asking motorists to take the extra time dropping off or picking up your children due to the heavy traffic in peak time in the school zones,” Becker says.

The same goes for parking in the school zones: Becker says several warnings have been issued.

Although next month is pedestrian safety month, school zone enforcement will continue throughout the school year.

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