Safety for Children in School Zones

In the news this week there was mention of the city reviewing the issue of safety for children in school zones.  This is not a new issue, I recall doing a presentation to our school board about 5 years ago.  As Chairperson of our Parent Association and a parent dropping children off at the school, it became apparent that there were many risk factors in our school zones.  Despite annual parent and guardian education by the school in the form of  a letter about procedures for student drop off and pick up, there were daily mistakes made that placed the students at risk.  Children would be dropped off on the wrong side of the street and allowed to cross into oncoming traffic, other drivers would speed past cars letting students out.  Vehicles who were driving through the school zone with no regard for the fact that students were out crossing streets before or after school.  We presented a few possible solutions such as designated one-way street signs during school hours as well as the possibility of using existing vacant land to establish a school drop off zone adjacent to the school which would not be on the residential street but would run one-way along the side of the school.  Unfortunately, the School Board does not have jurisdiction as some of the land and the traffic signage is under the control of the City of Winnipeg.   On behalf of the Parent Association I then met with the City Councilor in our area who acknowledged that this was an issue everywhere, but there was no plan at that time to create new road ways or change traffic patterns. I was informed at that time that they would increase the size of the sign indicating a school zone was there.  I hope that the City is ready to take some serious measures to review and implement changes in school zones to ensure that our children are able to go to and from school safely. These changes may include reduces speed zones and fines to deter speeding as well as surveying the local residents re:traffic patterns in front of school zones to determine possible changes which may increase safety for all.

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