Drivers were being stopped and given reminders to slow down outside Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementry school on the morning of Oct. 6. But instead of tickets, they were handed drawings made by Surrey students.
The Think of Me campaign is designed to remind drivers about the hazards of distracted driving. Officers issued drivers handmade warnings created by students as a reminder to think of me and take a break from your phone while driving.
Corp. Vanessa Munn, Surrey RCMP, said the artwork is “reminding parents and all drivers to think of them to put their phone down to obey the rules of the road.”
The campaign is a partnership between police, ICBC, City of Surrey Vision Zero, the Surrey School District, and Surrey Crime Prevention Society.
ICBC says every year across the province, five children are killed and 370 are injured in crashes while walking or cycling. In school and playground zones, 66 children are injured in crashes every year.
Munn said a driver was recently pulled over and ticketed in the Port Kells area for travelling twice as fast as the speed limit through a school zone. A few minutes later, the driver was pulled over again in a playground zone by a different officer for speeding. With the original ticket still in hand, the driver was issued a second fine. The total fines for both tickets amounted to over $500.
Fines for drivers caught speeding in school or playground zones range between $196 and $253, according to ICBC.
But Thursday’s “Think of Me” event was not about doling out fines, Munn said. Rather, it was about reminding people about the potential impact of speeding through a school zone.
“If you were to speed through a school zone, if you were to get in a collision involving a child – we just really want people to think about that.”