Slow down in school zones or pay the price

Drivers who don’t slow down and pay attention in school zones will face fines between $196 and $483.

That’s the message the Vancouver Police Department and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth want Vancouver drivers to take to heart as thousands of children head back to school this week.

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“Every driver should consider how, with just one bad decision — like speeding or texting — the worst can happen, especially in a school or playground zone,” Farnworth said at a press conference Sept. 5 at Renfrew elementary school.  “Think about the damage you could cause to yourself, your victims and your victim’s family. Particularly at this time of year, parents and children in your community need to be able to rely on you to take everyone’s safety very seriously.”

The VPD will be targeting school zones over the next few weeks keeping an eye out for unsafe driving, enforcing speed limits and looking for behaviour that puts pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists at risk.

“Back to school is a very exciting and busy time for families. I’m so glad that we’re all working together to ensure our kids stay safe going to and from school,” said Minister of Education Rob Fleming at the conference. “I encourage everyone to slow down and be extra aware when driving in school zones and on all roads throughout British Columbia."

VPD Deputy Chief Const. Warren Lemcke warned the department has little tolerance for anyone who puts children at risk.

“We want students travelling to and from school to be safe,” said Lemcke. “Road safety is a shared responsibility and we’re asking drivers to give themselves extra time so everyone gets to their destination safely.”

School zone speed limits are 30 km an hour between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless otherwise posted. Fines for drivers caught speeding in school zones range from $196 to $483.

Also attending the press conference were Vancouver School Board official trustee Dianne Turner, acting-mayor Raymond Louie and Clay Steiro, ICBC manager for road safety.

sthomas@vancourier.com

@sthomas10

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