Fines for speeding in school zones are set to double, the Newfoundland and Labrador government announced Tuesday.

The change takes effect on Wednesday, a week before most children in the province head back to class.

"Speeding in school zones is completely unacceptable and we hope these higher fines will reinforce that fact," Education Minister Darin King said in a statement.

"We often have young children crossing roads and it is up to motorists to drive cautiously and to ensure the safety of our students."   

The new fines will range from $100 for a first offence to $1,500.

The government is placing newspaper ads across the province to promote the new fines, and is also sending a brochure to every household.