City using technology and ‘heavy hand’ to stop bad school zone drivers
The City of Edmonton is launching a new enforcement campaign aimed at improving traffic safety around schools.
The city recently set up video cameras to monitor traffic and road activity at Dr. Donald Massey School in the north end of Edmonton. The two-month long city study showed jaywalking, improper student drop off and illegal parking were the most common violations at the school.
“This school serves as our prototype. Using this technology, and as part of our five year Road Safety Strategy, we plan to review 108 schools,” said Gerry Shimko, Office of Traffic Safety.
New safety measures have been implemented at the school, including lane and crosswalk markings, new rapid flashing beacons at the two main crosswalks and improve visibility of stop signs and school zone signs using retro reflective poles.
Enhanced parking enforcement and education is also being implemented to help prevent unsafe behavior.
“Illegal parking and drop-offs can block sightlines and cause obstructions, turning school zones into danger zones for children. School zone safety is a high priority for the City of Edmonton,” said Councillor Dave Loken.
The city said the new school zone parking enforcement campaign started last week and will continue until fewer drivers park illegally. Illegally parked cars could be ticketed and towed without warning and owners could face fines starting at $50, plus any towing and impound fees.
The campaign comes as new troubling numbers were released Monday on speeding in school zones during the first week most Edmonton students headed back to school.
According to the city, 2,099 were caught going over the 30 km/h in school zones from Tuesday to Friday of last week.
The new 30 km/h school zones were brought back around Edmonton elementary schools on Sept. 2 2014.
Motorists must slow down to 30 km/h between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on school days where school zone signs are posted.
A ticket for speeding in a school zone starts at $78. Drivers caught going 20 km/h over the speed limit will receive a $124 fine and a loss of demerits.