Drivers exceeding the speed limit in school zones in Edmonton won’t be just learning a lesson — they’ll be handed a ticket.
The grace period for the city’s new 30 km/h speed limit around elementary schools has ended and the city vows it will crack down on those breaking the law to ensure children in school zones are safe.
Since the new speed zones came into effect in September 2014, 5,480 warnings have been issued by Edmonton police, a sign that Gerry Shimko, the executive director of the city’s Office of Traffic Safety, shows people are not getting the message.
He emphasized that point with the CBC's Mark Connolly on Edmonton AM on Thursday morning.
“The number are quite high," he said. "With school zones where there’s such a higher risk, it’s definitely not a positive trend."
Of the 38,198 vehicles monitored since September 2014, only 56 per cent of drivers were travelling at or below 30 km/h.
Patricia Lukian doesn’t need to see a list to know that Inglewood, where her son goes to school, is one of the worst spots for drivers exceeding the posted speed limit.
“It’s almost like they don’t see the kids,” she said standing outside Inglewood Elementary with her son, Kiernan on Wednesday afternoon.
“They’re doing more than 30 [kilometres], definitely, they’re not even paying attention, they’re forgetting there is a school there and they’re kind of just carrying on their normal speed.”
"It's unbelievable how people fly by here." said Brittany Boucher, who also lives in Inglewood, adding she doesn’t always feel safe walking in the neighbourhood.
“Time is precious, I understand that, but they have to be cautious of the children.”
Top 10 locations for school zone speeders:
- St. Philip Elementary School, 144 Avenue/88 Street
- St. Boniface School, 40 Avenue/118 Street
- Northmount School, 140 Avenue/89 Street
- Ecole publique Gabrielle-Roy, 95 Avenue/87 Street
- Millwoods Christian School, Mill Woods Road/91 Street
- Ormsby Elementary School, 184 Street/62B Avenue
- Inglewood Elementary School, 127 Street/115 Avenue
- Talmud Torah School, 122 Street/Callingwood Road
- Holy Family Elementary-Junior High School/T.D. Baker School, Mill Woods Road E/17 Avenue
- St. Elizabeth Elementary School, Mill Woods Road/36 Avenue
Shimko told CBC News that Edmonton Police plan to launch an advertising campaign to further educate people about school zones and the consequences of breaking the law, as well as investigate why some areas of the city are seeing less compliance.
EPS Deputy Chief Brian Simpson is even stronger in his analysis of the traffic infractions, saying the education period is over and “going forward the EPS will be working with the Office of Traffic Safety to enforce the school zone speed limits with all tactics at our disposal, including manned enforcement and photo radar.”