Many speeders caught in school zones on the first day of school are often the parents themselves, dropping their kids off in a rush, according to Penticton RCMP traffic services Cpl. Ted Manchulenko.
While most school districts filled the classrooms after summer break on Tuesday, School District 67 Okanagan-Skaha got its start on Wednesday, and police were out watching for speeders in school zones during the morning rush.
“We were out this morning; everybody’s fairly well behaved,” Manchulenko said. “A couple of tickets were issued for the speed in the school zone, which are in effect from eight to five.”
Tickets for speeding in a school zone range from $196 for those going between 30 km/h and 50 km/h.
“So, a fairly substantial ticket,” Manchulenko said, noting most people say they’ve forgotten about the school zone speeds when caught. “But I mean they’re posted well, and it’s well-known that school is in, so there’s really no excuse for it at this point.”
What Manchulenko said is perhaps the most ironic thing is that most speeders are parents dropping their kids off.
“It’s usually the people that are either dropping kids off or late because they’re dropping kids off or in a rush to get to work and dropping the kids off, that type of thing,” he said. “It’s all, mostly parents and those involved with the schools that we run into more than anything else.”
The other main issue in school zones is parking, according to Manchulenko, with parents often thinking they can leave their car in a loading zone for 10 minutes or so while they walk their children into the school.
“We’ll probably try and work closer with bylaw this year relating to parking issues, because it’s always sort of a situation that we run into each and every year,” he said. “A no parking zone is simply that.”
Similarly, a loading zone is only intended for those not intending to leave the vehicle, only dropping off and picking up students or supplies.
In general, Manchulenko has one global piece of advice: “Just obey the signs; it’s fairly simple, some of the issues that we’re running into.”
That’s not to say that this year has been any worse than other years — a lot of volume going through the same streets will usually cause a few issues, he said.
“So I would encourage people to leave a little bit earlier, park a little farther away and walk your children maybe a half a block farther for the safety of everybody,” Manchulenko said.
With a couple of tickets handed out, Manchulenko said he hopes a couple of lessons have been learned, and hopes the message is out there well enough.