“BE A TEXTBOOK DRIVER”
School’s back! Time to dust off our driving skills
As thousands of students return to school this morning across the city, the Edmonton Police Service is reminding motorists to dust off their driving skills with the intention of keeping both pedestrians and drivers safe throughout the coming school year.
“There may be the tendency for some drivers to relax their driving and observation skills over the summer holidays,” said. Kerry Bates, EPS Traffic Safety Coordinator.
“So we want to remind everyone to slow down and respect the rules of the road while driving, especially near school zones. We’ve seen collisions between vehicles and pedestrians in school zones in the past, so it’s important we’re all switched on and mindful of our speed and driving habits near schools.
In 2016-17, EPS officers investigated three near-tragic collisions in or near school zones:
Feb. 23, 2016 – An eight-year-old boy sustained serious, non-life-threatening injuries, after being struck by a vehicle in a school zone near Delton Elementary School.
June 15, 2016 – An 11-year-old girl sustained life-threatening injuries, after being struck by a garage truck while riding her bicycle near Velma Baker Elementary School.
Oct 25, 2016 – A 16-year-old girl sustained serious, non-life-threatening injuries, after being struck by a vehicle while jaywalking near Archbishop Oscar Romero School.
“Safety isn’t about placing blame on one another – it’s about looking out for one another,” said Sgt. Bates.
“Let’s all do our best to be conscientious drivers and pedestrians with the goal of keeping our children safe throughout the coming school year.”
The City of Edmonton’s Office of Traffic Safety (photo radar vehicles) issued more than 50,300 school zone speeding infraction tickets in 2016-17, while EPS issued more than 3,300 school zone violation tickets (hand held radar gun) last year (Sept. 1st to June 30th).
Over the last three years, the Office of Traffic Safety has issued more than 156,000 tickets to drivers speeding through school zones, and EPS officers have issued more than 15,600 school zone speeding offence tickets over the same time period, while focusing their efforts near schools where drivers were ignoring the 30 km/h school zone speed limit.
“The safety of all students is always our first priority,” said Joan Carr, Superintendent of Edmonton Catholic Schools.
“The 30 km/h school zone expansion to elementary and junior high schools further ensures the safety of students arriving and leaving elementary and junior highs each day,” Carr added.
The Edmonton Police Service also re-launched its “Be a textbook driver” public awareness campaign this week, in conjunction with the first day of school. The public awareness campaign includes a television commercial, transit and road-side signs in high traffic areas around the city, reminding motorists to slow down and be mindful of the 30 km/h speed limit in school zones located on the perimeters around schools across Edmonton.