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Reduced speed limits back in Winnipeg school zones, gifted flashing lights coming soon

Click to play video: 'Reduced speed limits return to Winnipeg school zones' Reduced speed limits return to Winnipeg school zones
WATCH: Maximum speed limits drop back down to 30 km/h around most schools in Winnipeg starting Tuesday – Sep 1, 2020

As Winnipeg students get ready to return to the classroom next week, drivers need to remember to slow down in school zones.

Maximum speed limits drop back down to 30 km/h around most schools in Winnipeg as of Tuesday.

Read more: More than 8,000 tickets handed out to Winnipeg drivers speeding through school zones in June

And Winnipeg police say with more students expected to walk to school due to COVID-19, following the rules of the road is more important than ever this fall.

“There could be more kids walking, could be more kids on their bikes,” said Insp. Gord Spado with the Winnipeg police.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg Police to increase enforcement in school zones' Winnipeg Police to increase enforcement in school zones
Winnipeg Police to increase enforcement in school zones – Sep 10, 2018

“The (school) buses are limited in their accessibility these days with COVID-19 and, yeah, we could see more kids out using active transportation.”

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Under a city bylaw, speed limits drop from 50 km/h to 30 km/h in Winnipeg school zones from September to June. The rules are in effect Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

In June Winnipeg police said more than 8,000 tickets for speeding through school zones were issued — nearly double the 4,300 such tickets that had been doled out in June 2019.

Read more: More than 8,000 tickets handed out to Winnipeg drivers speeding through school zones in June

The influx of tickets came after police stopped enforcing school zone speed limits in April or May, while schools were closed due to COVID-19.

Enforcement kicked back in when schools partially reopened in June, which police say may have led to confusion for drivers.

Gifted flashing lights coming

Meanwhile, a Winnipeg business owner says he’s ready to start installing flashing lights around schools in an effort to help drivers know to slow down.

Chuck Lewis, owner of Expert Electric, first offered to install the lights at no cost to the city back in 2017, but the offer was rejected.

Read more: Winnipeg dawdles on offer of free amber school zone lights: ‘It makes no sense at all’

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But Lewis kept asking and the city eventually gave him the green light to go ahead with the project this past June.

Lewis told 680 CJOB Tuesday he’s just waiting to hear back from the city about which school zone to install the first lights and hopes to have those flashing beacons up and running before the long weekend’s over.

He says once those lights pass a city-ordered trial period he plans to roll out a new set of lights once a month at other schools as well.

Lewis says the project is something he’s wanted to do after witnessing an accident in which two kids were hit and dragged behind a vehicle.

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“I know how important safety can be in school zones,” he said.

Read more: Winnipeg decides to accept gifted flashing school zone lights four years later

“If you put up the beacons, it doesn’t matter if its raining, dark, or if your windows are fogged, you’ll still see the beacons flashing.”

Lewis has previously said if he were to charge for the lights, it would cost between $6,000 and $7,000 per school zone.

Students head back to school in Winnipeg and across Manitoba Sept. 8.

Click to play video: 'Frustrated Winnipeg electrician installs flashing school zone lights himself' Frustrated Winnipeg electrician installs flashing school zone lights himself
Frustrated Winnipeg electrician installs flashing school zone lights himself – Feb 6, 2020

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