As students prepare to head back to classes, the Saskatoon Police Service is reminding drivers to slow down to 30 km/h while going through school zones.
“Reducing speed from 50 to 30 kilometres an hour increases the survivability rate of a car versus pedestrian crash by 50 per cent. So slowing down that 20 kilometres an hour for 10 seconds, it really, it makes a huge difference in public safety,” said Staff Sgt. Patrick Barbar.
Starting in September, you can expect to see police out in full force.
“In September, we do have a two-day school zone campaign planned to coincide with the start of the school year,” Barbar said.
“Throughout the school year we do assign schools on a daily basis to our officers to attend. There are a lot of school zones in the city, over 100, so we try to attend to as many of those as we can. We do have some that are problematic than others, so those get a little more focus.”
A ticket issues in a school zone is not only double the base amount, but also double the amount per kilometre going over the speed limit as well.
“They end up being, for the regular speeding range of 20-25 over, in the $400 to $500 range, for starters,” Barbar said.
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The officer says police have noticed people respecting the school zones more, due to in part to the usage of different signs such as roll-out signs used by some elementary schools.
In 2013, 3,921 people were caught speeding through a school zone. In 2017, that number was down to 2,235. So far this year, 1,149 tickets have been issued.
“However, we’ve also seen an increase in the speed of those who aren’t. So it’s a bit of trade off and that’s worrisome as well,” said Barbar.
The police have already begun their campaign to get people thinking about school zones again, and are working with SGI to get the message out there.
“We tell people they need to start noticing those signs again before the school year starts. We are responsible for seeing those signs. On our twitter feed we use the hashtag #LookForTheSigns, because again, it’s not an excuse that you didn’t see it when it’s in plain view,” Barbar said .