Last week as classes across the Surrey School District resumed after spring break, drivers going over the limit in the school zone at Martha Currie Elementary in Cloverdale were caught in a speed trap they won’t soon forget.
Surrey RCMP members were handing out special warning tickets created by the Surrey students whose school they were zooming past.
Each of the kid-created tickets urged: Think of Me, Please Slow Down, and featured a unique, hand drawn message created by a student.
The RCMP is always watching, warned a ticket drawn by Noah, a Grade 3 student at Martha Currie. Another warned: Slow Down, Kids at Play, with a drawing of children laying hoops and playing soccer under a brightly shining sun.
The Think of Me education and enforcement campaign is a partnership between Surrey RCMP, the Insurance Corporation of B.C., and the Surrey School District reminding parents and drivers about school zone safety and the hazards of distracted driving.
Before Spring Break, police checked more than 2,000 vehicles and issued more than 200 special warnings, along with dozens of violation tickets for various infractions in school zones.
Now that spring is here, drivers should expect to see more kids on the roads and to drive accordingly, said Karen Klein, ICBC’s road safety coordinator for Surrey and White Rock.
She said people need to be extra cautious and watch for kids especially in and around school zones and around parks, now that spring is here.
“We need drivers to pay more attention. It is getting warmer,” Klein said. “We’ve got a lot of kids that are out on the roads, a lot more pedestrians, a lot more cyclists.”
Parents have a responsibility to educate their children on road safety, she added. Safety tips include crossing only at crosswalks, making eye contact with drivers, and walking on the inside edge of the sidewalk to be further away from traffic.
“Drivers need to be aware that when you enter this zone, there’s a reason why the speed limit comes down, and that’s so you can be more aware of the surroundings,” she added.
The program was introduced in Surrey at the suggestion of the Surrey RCMP’s District 4 office in Cloverdale/Port Kells, and is now covering 12 schools in the district, where the police will be setting up outside a different school each Wednesday.
“Anybody that has a child, if you’re handed one of these cards with a drawing, it’s quite personal and powerful for them,” Klein said.
“I think even more so than to get a ticket.”