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‘Please slow down’: Grade 5 school safety patrol’s plea to Winnipeg drivers

A Winnipeg school patrol is asking drivers to let him cross students safely. The Canadian Press

A young Winnipeg school safety patrol is pleading with drivers to stop when he’s trying to get his fellow students safely across the street.

Matthew Skibo, a Grade 5 student in northeast Winnipeg, told 680 CJOB some drivers are ignoring him when he tries to alert them that kids are about to cross — something that is putting a damper on the excitement he had about becoming a patrol at the beginning of the school year.

“I’ve always wanted to be (a patrol). … As soon as I saw what the kids did, it looked super fun,” he said.

“The drivers, when we’re trying to signal to cross the kids, they don’t pay attention and they just drive past.

“We can’t cross the kids until everyone’s stopped and it’s completely safe.”

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

Skibo said he feels disrespected and frustrated — something his mom Tara Skibo shared last week in a tweet that has been liked over 1,200 times.

The 10-year-old patrol said he has a simple message for drivers.

“I’d like them to try to stop,” he said. “Please slow down, let me cross the kids.”

Under a city bylaw, speed limits drop to 30 km/h from 50 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.

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Last month, Winnipeg police Insp. Gord Spado told Global News that for drivers, following the rules of the road is more important than ever, as more students might be walking to school due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There could be more kids walking, could be more kids riding their bikes,” he said.

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

Click to play video: 'Reduced speed limits return to Winnipeg school zones' Reduced speed limits return to Winnipeg school zones
Reduced speed limits return to Winnipeg school zones – Sep 1, 2020

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