352 tickets were handed out to drivers in Grande Prairie school zones during the first week of classes.

It seems to be a drop in ticket handouts, as in 2018, 112 tickets were given out on the first day of school, with an additional 50 handed out on the second day.

Sergeant Ross Gear says he is pleased to see that some are getting the message to slow down in the school zones, but he knows drivers have it in them to obey the law even closer.

“It’s still a significant amount of tickets, I mean it’s better but we as a community can do better,” he says.

“I want it down to zero, I want it to a place where we don’t need police, or peace officers in school zones because everyone just follows the law. I know that’s not realistic, but we are certainly heading in the right direction.”

Gear says a further decline may come down to people simply paying more attention when approaching school zones, as well as their time driving through them.

“Even very good drivers sometimes get concentrated on something else, and all of a sudden they see that sign and slow down, and you see those brake lights. I don’t think anybody purposely does these things, but it’s a good reminder to get out.”

He adds that while education has gone a long way in helping bring down the number of overall tickets, the enforcement of the zones remains a necessity.

“Unfortunately the avenue we have to enforce the law and give that reminder is to give out tickets. If we don’t do that, it seems like the message doesn’t get across; I wish there was a different way that was very effective.”

The 30 kilometres per hour school zone speed limits will remain in effect from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., every school day until June.

*Editors note: The original version of this story stated 342 tickets handed out. We apologize for the error.*