Labour Day signals the ending of summer, the nearing of fall and the return to classes for thousands of school-aged children in the Lord Selkirk School Division. And, since last year, it also signals the return of reduced speed zones of 30 km per hour around four Selkirk schools – Ecole Bonaventure, Robert Smith, Ruth Hooker and Centennial.
Dan McDermid, the city’s Director of Operations, said the city wants to remind motorists that after a summer without the speed zones in effect they now need to adjust their speed downwards for the safety of school children.
“We want to remind everyone that school is starting so please take note that the school zones are in effect, beginning Sept. 1,” McDermid said.
Year two for reduced speed zones in Selkirk
The City of Selkirk adopted a Reduced Speeds in School Zones Bylaw last year, following changes to the Highway Traffic Act, which allowed for local governments to reduce speed limits in school zones. Reduced speed zones align with the city’s strategic plan, which makes having a vibrant, safe and healthy community a priority.
The regular posted speed limit within the City of Selkirk is 50 km per hour. The reduced speed zones, which are in effect from September to June, require motorists to reduce their speed to 30 km per hour from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Reduced speed signs will be posted in the zones as well as advance warning signs to alert motorists to the reduced speed limit. RCMP will enforce the reduced speed limits, and those convicted of speeding will face a fine under the Highway Traffic Act.
RCMP monitoring school zones, fines substantial
Insp. Dave Kalist said RCMP will be patrolling the reduced speed zones prior to the start of school to remind motorists to slow down. They will issue warnings, he said, but motorists shouldn’t consider it a free pass.
“For the first couple days of the month the RCMP will be out and officers will use their discretion to remind people of the reduced speed limit, that we’re coming out of summer and back into the school season,” Kalist said.
“But people who are really exceeding the speed limit, there’s no guarantee they won’t get a ticket.”
When school starts again on Sept. 7, Kalist said motorists who exceed the 30 km per hour limit in the school zones will be ticketed.
Kalist also reminded motorists that fines for speeding in Manitoba are substantial and can result in demerits on your license, which makes the cost even higher. He encouraged motorists to consider the safety of children in school zones as well.
“People really need to slow down and watch for the school zones,” he said.
RCMP will also have enhanced enforcement around the Lord Selkirk Comp, which isn’t one of the reduced speed zone schools, but is an area of concern.
“We’re going to have enhanced enforcement around the high school as well to ensure drivers, especially the young drivers, are driving in a reasonable manner and not breaking any laws,” Kalist said.
“And around the high school, that will be enforcement.”
Affected streets include:
Ecole Bonaventure and Robert Smith School:
Stanley Avenue between Mercy and Sophia streets; Mercy Street between Pacific and Stanley avenues; Sophia Street between Pacific and Stanley avenues, including all intersections.
Ruth Hooker School:
Morris Avenue between Sophia and Jemima streets; Superior Avenue between Sophia and Jemima streets; Sophia Street from Superior to Morris avenues; Jemima Street from Superior to Morris avenues, including all intersections.
Centennial Avenue between Mercy and Sophia streets; Mercy Street between Centennial Avenue/Catherine Bay and Catherine Bay/Barbara Bay, Barbara Bay between Mercy Street and Centennial Avenue, Sophia Street between Louise Bay and Centennial Avenue/Louise Bay, including all intersections.
Daerwood School, which is also a Grade 6 and under school, was not included in the Reduced Speeds in School Zones Bylaw, due to its location on Main Street, a provincial highway. The city opted to keep the speed limit on Main Street at 50 km per hour, due to the fact adult crossing guards assist students crossing Main to ensure their safety. The RCMP monitor Main Street for speeding regularly and have pledged to increase patrols near the school.