WATCH ABOVE: Last week nearly 950 violations were recorded around Edmonton school zones. Vinesh Pratap has more on the sobering statistics.
EDMONTON – Nearly 950 drivers sped through Edmonton school zones last week, according to the city’s office of traffic safety.
Local schools recorded 949 violations last week, which is nearly double the amount recorded in the first week school zone speed limits took effect in September.
The violation rate was 10 per cent for Dec. 1 – 5. That means that one vehicle in every 10 was speeding through school zones.
“I do see that speeders are not really paying attention to that zone and slowing down as much as we’d like them to,” says Kristy Desmarais, assistant principal at St. Monica Catholic School.
In a tweet, the Catholic district shared the shocking number of violations in all local schools zones for four days last week.
628 speed violations seen in school zones last week. Radar will be at 75 schools this week. Slow down to 30! #yegsaferoads #ECSD #yegtraffic
— ECSD (@EdmCathSchools) December 8, 2014
“Our school district has made signs for all of our schools to put out there that give us the opportunity to let the public know that we want them to slow down and take a minute, not a life,” adds Desmarais.
St. Monica School is one of the more challenging locations.
“It makes me think that it’s our location,” she says. “Our location is on a very busy street that comes right off the Whitemud freeway.
“I think that speed limit from 80 to 30 is hard for people to remember to do.”
Driving 10 km/h over the 30 km/h speed zone limit could result in a $78 fine. Driving 15 km/h over could mean a $89 fine. Driving 20 km/h over the limit translates to a $124 fine and 25 km/h over could mean a $150 fine.
During the first week the new school zone speed limits were in place, the city’s office of traffic safety said there were 401 violations in front of 21 different elementary schools.
“We were disappointed to see a higher number of violations overall than we were expecting,” said the office’s executive director, Gerry Shimko, on Sept. 5.
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On Thursday, Nov. 27, the first heavy snowfall of the season, the city counted 210 speeding violations in school zones.
“Despite snow, we had 210 school zone violations on Thursday during the height of the snowstorm,” said Dennis Tetreault with the Office of Traffic Safety.
He said the school zone around St. Monica School on 53 Avenue between Whitemud Drive and Riverbend Road, there were 144 violations.
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“It’s worse now that the weather is bad. Your stopping distance at 50 km/h, you’re adding an extra 10-13 metres just on top of that on wet pavement, that’s not saying icy road conditions, snowy road conditions,” explained Tetreault.
“Even if you see a pedestrian, you can’t slow down enough.”
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