More than 6,200 infractions handed out by SPVM during ‘back-to-school blitz’

Montreal police officer hands motorist ticket for driving infraction. Global News

Montreal police have been busy cracking down on speeding, issuing more than 6,200 infractions to drivers during their annual back-to-school blitz.

Between Aug. 28 and Sept. 22, Montreal officers heightened their presence around school zones.

During the four-week period, a total of 6,246 infractions were given out to drivers.

On top of that, photo radar machines managed to nab another 1,675 motorists for not respecting the rules of the road.

Ticketing breakdown

  • Speeding in school zone: 285
  • Speeding: 2,144
  • Other infractions: 3,724

In the tally, 90 tickets were issued to motorists — and three to cyclists — for not stopping for a school bus when it was dropping off children.

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The tightening of the vice comes after a growing call for better school zone safety in the province following the tragic death of seven-year-old Mariia Legenkovska, a Ukrainian refugee. She was fatally struck while walking to school on the morning of Dec. 13, 2022.

Piétons Québec says these numbers are encouraging but may have little effect over time.

They claim policing the problem is only a temporary fix. They want to see a physical change to the city’s road network to truly implement a change in drivers’ behaviours behind the wheel.

“It’s not enough to prevent deaths around our schools because we know that the police can conduct those intensive operations but then they have to attend to other priorities. We can’t have a police officer around every street corner. That’s why we need better infrastructure to encourage safe behaviour.”

In August, Quebec Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault presented a five-year plan, outlining 27 initiatives and regulatory changes in pursuit of Vision Zero, an international policy approach that aims to eliminate road deaths and serious injuries.

The new plan includes higher financial penalties and more demerit points for drivers who commit infractions in school and construction zones.

It also calls for a 30 km/h speed limit in school zones, a deployment of speed cameras and funding to better secure pedestrian and bike paths.

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Guilbault said she hopes to introduce a bill to implement many of the proposed measures this coming fall.

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