School zone speeders, illegal parkers on RCMP radar
By: Amy Crofts
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 06:00 am
Parents may have noticed an increased police presence at their child’s school over the past three weeks as RCMP work to remind the public that school zone traffic laws need to be obeyed.
RCMP as well as Municipal Enforcement Officers are rotating through school zones in order to refresh the memories of students and parents about watching out for school zone signs, pedestrian crosswalks and obeying the rules of the road.
“One of the biggest concerns is the vehicle traffic,” noted Cpl. Laurel Kading with St. Albert RCMP. “Drop-off zones are often very small in front of schools and instead of driving further away, parking and walking their child back, (parents) are double, sometimes triple-parking and pulling into school bus lanes.”
Kading said illegal parking is not only a danger to student pedestrians, but when designated school bus lanes are filled with illegally parked cars, bus drivers then have to park at angles with parts of the bus sticking out into traffic.
“The RCMP would like to remind all drivers that it is not okay to break the parking laws, even though ‘it is just for a minute’. We are all role models to these young students who will be future drivers,” said Kading.
RCMP are currently concentrating their efforts at elementary schools where students crossing streets may not be watching traffic as closely. Officers said they have been impressed with many students and their parents following traffic laws, as well as the hard work of crossing guards.
“We would like to send a big thank you out to the parents who drop their children off properly, and especially to those parents who park down the street from the school and walk their children safely to the school,” added Kading.
School zone speed limits are 30 km per hour and are in effect on school days between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The two longest school zones in St. Albert are in Forest Lawn on Cunningham Road and along Sir Winston Churchill Avenue where there are two separate school zones.
Speeding through school zones comes with fine and demerit point penalties.
Going 15 km/h over the speed limit nets a fine of $89 and two demerit points. For 20 km/h over, the fine is $124 and thee demerit points; 25 km/h over is $150 (as well as three demerit points) and 50 km/h over the speed limit brings a fine of $351 and four demerit points.