School zones are back in effect as of tomorrow morning. Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., drivers are required to slow down to 30 kilometres an hour around schools in the city of Grande Prairie. AMA School Safety Patrol coordinator Shelley Biendarra says it’s important to pay attention when young students might not.
“See a school zone, go down to 30 kilometres [an hour]. Do it around the parks as well; I was driving by a park and sure enough there’s 30 kilometres and you’re supposed to be but people are whizzing on by. Pay attention to all those; there are young kids out there and they’re excited they’re going to see their friends, so keep an eye on those little guys.”
Last year, 361 people were ticketed for speeding in a school zone in just the first four days, with 840 tickets handed out in September alone. Drivers should know by now to slow down, but they can get a little help if they want it through AMA’s Road Reporter app.
“So if you download that to your cell phone, it will let you know about 200 metres before a school that there’s a school zone there. There’s a little phone message so you don’t have to look at your phone when you’re driving and won’t be distracted, and it gives you a little blurb about a school zone coming up and to please go 30 kilometres.”
Parking can also be a congestion and safety issue when parents drop their kids off right in front of school, or stop in the middle of the road to let them off. Biendarra is urging parents to keep off their cell phones, drop their children off away from the front entrance, and watch for school patrollers at cross walks.