‘No tolerance’ road safety campaign launches as Toronto students head back to school

WATCH ABOVE: Students head back to class after vacation Tuesday with a mixture of excitement and nerves. The city and Toronto police are also using the day to remind drivers to slow down and drive cautiously in school zones. Priya Sam has more.

Thousands of kids across Toronto are heading back to class after summer vacation Tuesday morning for the 2019-20 school year.

And with that comes a “no tolerance” campaign from Toronto police and City of Toronto officials urging road motorists to be extra cautious around school zones.

“All road users need to consider the safety of our most vulnerable users – school children, pedestrians, and cyclists, when they are travelling on our roads. We all need to have the common goal of reaching our destinations safely each day,” police said in a statement Tuesday morning.

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The campaign will run from Tuesday to Friday.

Police said officers will be specifically watching for drivers who park illegally, speed, drive distracted, aggressively or impaired around schools.

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“These behaviours lead to frustration, congestion and an unsafe environment for students,” said police. “All of these actions are preventable and avoidable.”

Mayor John Tory was outside of Oakridge Junior Public School on Tuesday morning echoing Toronto police’s message.

“This fundamental focus on paying attention and slowing down is the single most important thing we can do to make sure we can reduce injuries and death,” said Tory.

Tory said, so far, 136 school safety zones have already been installed across Toronto and about 60 more will be installed over the next four months.

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The mayor also said that starting in December, with the expected approval by the province, speed cameras will be installed in school safety zones in the city.

“These are going to become a common site across the city in 50 locations starting at the end of this year. It has been a long time coming,” said Tory.

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