RCMP are warning motorists to slow down, pay attention and get ready for school zones after a rash of motor vehicle incidents in the city over the past week.
A collision on Moosejaw Street and Douglas Avenue on Aug. 26 is still under investigation after a late-model Oldsmobile driven by an elderly female collided with a cyclist traveling in the same direction.
First responders found the cyclist partially pinned under the vehicle. Both the cyclist and the driver were transported to hospital with the cyclist suffering serious, but non-life threatening injuries. Police said speed and alcohol are not factors.
Also on Aug. 26, a woman lost control of her vehicle in the Penticton Regional Hospital parking lot. She suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken the short distance to the emergency ward.
A motor vehicle incident occurred in Naramata on Aug. 27 where a vehicle drove into an orchard on Partridge Road. The vehicle was found by police with fencing and debris wrapped around it. The driver was impaired and given a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition.
“They all come down to people not paying attention, and I’m not going to use the ‘distracted’ word, but they’re not paying attention, they’re going too fast. Everyone seems to be in panic mode here lately to get to where they’re going too quickly,” Cpl. Ted Manchulenko said.
Traffic has died down significantly in the past week, Manchulenko added, with most instigators of motor vehicle incidents being local.
“Our own community has got to slow down a little bit,” Manchulenko said.
School zones are back
School zones start up next week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a minimum penalty for speeding costing drivers $196.
Speeding over 20 kilometres over the posted limit will cost drivers $253, with penalties increasing with higher speeds.
Manchulenko said there is no leeway when speeding in a school zone.
“I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve stopped people for driving outside of the posted limit, it doesn’t matter where it is, and the question is asked ‘well, there’s always a bit of a cushion isn’t there?’ I’ll tell you right now there’s no cushion in a school zone.”
The city has recently completed traffic calming measures on Power Street adjacent to Queen’s Park Elementary school.
“We’re going to be monitoring that as well to see how that’s playing out. It should probably alleviate some of the issues we’ve had on Power (Street) in front of that area. Hopefully that goes well,” Manchulenko said.
Police along with bylaw enforcement are also planning on monitoring stopping zones at local schools. The primary concern is for sight lines in relation to where school busses are pulling in and out.
Police urge parents to drop their kids off in designated areas.
“If it’s not a parking zone and it’s not a stopping zone don’t stop your car there and you won’t be causing more issues,” Manchulenko said.