Drivers get bad grades during first weeks of school

DPD hand out 217 violation tickets

Drivers are getting a failing grade during the first few weeks of back to school in Delta.

According to police, during the first two weeks of school Delta police issued 217 violation tickets to drivers speeding – or driving distracted – in school zones.

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Police also stopped one impaired driver as well as one prohibited driver during the enforcement blitz.

DPD said in a news release that parents should rest assured that patrols and enforcement efforts at school zones will continue throughout the school year – and are a priority enforcement for general duty officers as well as traffic officers.

Some may wonder why speed limits are set at 30 km/hour in school zones. Traffic studies indicate that at 50 km/hour an adult has a 50 per cent chance of being killed, if struck by a car. At 65 km/hour, there is an 85 per cent chance of death. Those statistics apply to adults – children are more likely to be hurt or killed.

“Drivers require a certain amount of time to both see a problem and then react to a problem,” says Sgt. Sukh Sidhu, head of the Traffic Services for Delta Police. “Perception/reaction time is 1.5 seconds for most people.”

A vehicle travelling at 80 km/hour would travel 33 metres in 1.5 seconds before a driver starts to react, he points out. As for how that plays out in the real world, this is why officers responding to serious collisions often see tire and skid marks after the initial impact, not before. The driver simply didn’t have time to react, until after they hit the object, vehicle or potentially, the person.

“The faster you’re going, the more perspective a driver loses in terms of what’s going on around him or her,” added Sidhu. “Their focus narrows, and goes further down the road. And that means the driver speeding through a school zone is simply much less able to see the child who darts across the street to join their friend, for example.”

DPD is asking drivers to remember these factors, the next time you’re wondering if you really need to slow down to 30 km per hour in that school zone. The few seconds you could save just aren’t worth it.

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