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'Slow down and be alert': School zones are back in effect as Vancouver Island students return to class

A Victoria police officer pulled a driver over in a school zone outside of South Park Elementary School in Victoria on Sept 5, 2023. (CTV News)

A Victoria police officer pulled a driver over in a school zone outside of South Park Elementary School in Victoria on Sept 5, 2023. (CTV News)

Students across Vancouver Island returned to school on Tuesday, officially bringing summer vacation to a close.

For most children, going back to class was a matter of muscle memory. For drivers, some needed a costly reminder that school speed zones are back in effect.

“We’re reminding drivers to slow down and be alert,” said Const. Terri Healy of the Victoria Police Department.

“Be mindful that there is going to be students, other children and staff walking and cycling to school.”

School zone speeding tickets are slightly higher than a regular speeding ticket, ranging from $196 to $253. That also comes with three demerit points on your driver's licence.

“Distracted driving is a leading factor in collisions with pedestrians,” said Healy.

VicPD officers were also on the lookout for drivers using a phone behind the wheel, resulting in a $368 fine and four points on your licence.

“People really speed down this road,” said Keira Pinchbeck, a mother of a seven-year-old daughter.

“I think they are in a hurry to get their kids to school and then get to work so even the parents sometimes speed.”

Last year, the Sooke School District had to redesign how children got to and from school in the Westhills neighbourhood of Langford after drivers continued to ignore crossing guards at a roundabout on Langford Parkway.

“We’ve had one of our own crossing guards get bumped by a car and we’ve had lots of close calls with kids,” said Kailey Sutherland, a crossing guard, back in April.

“On Vancouver Island we have about 52 children every single year that are injured from collisions with drivers,” said Healy.

“Slow down, use caution and remember that the faster you go, the longer it takes to stop. ”

The Victoria Police Department says drivers can expect to see an increased number of officers monitoring school zone each morning throughout the capital region for the next three weeks. Top Stories


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