Back-to-school focus on school zone safety

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With the start of the new school year, Operation Student Safety will see law and traffic enforcement officers province-wide focusing on traffic safety in and around school zones on Sept. 4 and 5.

Officers will be on the lookout for motorists speeding in school zones, failing to stop at stop signs or yield signs, failing to yield for pedestrians, failing to obey crossing guards, failing to obey school bus signs or parking in no parking zones.

“School zones often see heavy traffic, and the start of the new school year is a good time to remind motorists to slow down and be attentive to students and pedestrians,” said Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI. “Young children are more difficult to see than adults, and tend to think vehicles can stop quickly, so it’s important for motorists to pay extra attention in those areas.”

On average, there are 40 collisions in school zones each year, resulting in 14 injuries and two fatalities. In 2011, there were 37 collisions resulting in 17 injuries and no fatalities.

“We are dedicated to the safety and well being of children in our communities, and as motorists, you have a responsibility to drive with care,” said Chief Troy Hagen, President of the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police. “Drive in school zones as if it’s your school, attended by your children, and slow down.”

Penalties for speeding in school zones include a fine of at least $140 and three demerit points under SGI’s Safe Driver Recognition program.

Last month’s traffic safety blitz, Operation Crossroads, focused on intersection safety and resulted in 516 tickets being issued to Saskatchewan motorists, including 216 for improper or non-seatbelt use, 51 for cellphone use while driving, 38 for disobeying red lights or stop signs and nearly 90 for speeding.

Organizations: SGI, Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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