Back to School 2016

This could potentially be my 30th back to school article since I started writing about traffic safety. With that observation comes the question of how can I possibly write something new on the subject? It’s not like I’m going to be the only one that tries to draw your attention to the topic in the next couple of weeks. Everyone has a stake in this facet of road safety, but do we truly have your attention and will you give it some thought?

Probably the oddest response that I ever had to school zone speed enforcement came early in my career. I caught a teacher driving to work at the school where I was watching. She received a traffic ticket for failing to slow down and went straight to the principal to complain. He came out to speak with me and thanked me for taking the time to work the zone and encouraged me to come back often. He also mentioned that the teacher had expected him to come out and explain the error of my ways because she thought that the school zone did not apply to her.

Are you like this teacher? Can you excuse yourself from obeying the rules because you are in a hurry to  do something that you consider to be much more important than someone’s safety? If so, you are a selfish driver and need to take a look in the rear view mirror. Perhaps you will see flashing red and blue lights there.

School zones are 30 km/h for many reasons. You have more time to see, react to and prevent a collision if the situation presents itself. Pedestrians have more time to make safe a crossing decision and are less likely to choose incorrectly. Should the unthinkable occur, they are more likely to survive the collision than they would at just a few km/h faster. Thinking that you can safely drive “10 over” here is just plain stupid. Sorry.

Parents of school children can be frequent offenders as well. Don’t take your turn in the drop off zone, park wherever you will and let your passengers out wherever there is room. It saves time, but again, it’s selfish and unsafe. I’ve been involved in the investigation of a fatal collision where a child ran down the passenger side of the vehicle, across the rear and out into traffic where he was stuck by a passing car. Mom will wish for the rest of her life that she took the time to use the driveway. Don’t join her.

Obey the directions of school crossing guards. The law says that you have to. Not only do they help children cross the road safely on their way to and from school, they will report you to police if you don’t follow their direction. If you fail the grade as a driver here, you might receive a bad report card later on in the term.

Children don’t always use the crosswalks, marked or unmarked. When they do, you need to stop and let them cross. When they don’t, you are still required to exercise due diligence not to collide with them. They are children after all and don’t always make the best decisions. That’s why they’re off to school.

Comments

With an exception

Not to be picky, but not all school zones are 30 km/hr anymore, even the government web pages have not changed that I have found any ways.

If you want a speeding ticket for driving 30 km/hr in a school zone, just move to or drive in Rossland BC, where a limit of 20 km/hr near school zones, and a maximum of 15 in drop-off zones.

Sorry, I couldn't resist:-) It would suit me just fine to see this school zone speed limit be everywhere, as now I can extremely rarely do 30 km/hr in any school or playground zone without being caught up to and tailgated, and it never ceases to amaze me the selfishness of so many in these zones.

Now I'm Curious...

I read Rossland's Speed Limit Policy and you are quite correct, school zones are 20 km/h and drop off zones are 15 km/h.

Curiouser and curiouser.

The reason I mention it, is that I'd always thought that the speed limit of 30 km/h for School and Playground zones was established under provincial law (see Section 147 of the MVA).

And the last modification to that was when (1.1) was added to allow municipalites to expand (but not reduce) the hours when school zones might be in effect.

 

BYLAW's allow speed change.

If I understand correctly.

THE CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF ROSSLAND BYLAW#l977 A BYLAW TO A BYLAW TO REGULATE TRAFFIC AND Tiffi USE OF HIGHWAYS WITHIN Tiffi BOUNDARIES OF Tiffi CITY OF ROSSLAND WHEREAS the Council is authorized, pursuant to Section 124 of the Motor Vehicle Act and Sections 542 and 545 - 548 inclusive of the Municipal Act, to regulate traffic and the use of highways within the Municipality. TIIEREFORE be it resolved that the Municipal Council of the City of Rossland in open meeting assembled, ENACTS AS FOLLOWS: 

Full PDF here, http://www.rossland.ca/sites/default/files/agenda_regular-meeting_june-22-package_2015-06-22.pdf 

Some bylaws certainly do.

Thanks for the helpful information.

But while I'm not a lawyer, I am somewhat familiar with BC MVA Section 124 and I'm not seeing where it might over-ride Section 147, which seems to clearly established what the speed limit of a School Zone must be (i.e. 30 km/h).

Nor do any of the Municipal Act sections 542 - 548 permit this, so far as I can tell.

If I'm correct, then a driver entering a School Zone in Rossland at 30 km/h - that's a whopping 50% over the posted speed limit - might well be ticketed and fined under the local bylaws, but cannot be given demerit points on his/her driver license.

I then wonder who will be policing this? And in a moment of irony, find myself wondering if the first law-breakers might be seniors on golf carts!

 

Actually only 33 1/3 % not 50% over

 Entering the school zone while traveling at 30 km/hr is only 33 1/3 % over the 20 km/hr speed limit, while 30 km/hr would be 50% over the limit in the "Drop off Zone". And I fail to see why a driver speeding against the MVA can't be issued points. The Bylaw allows the city to change the speed limit according to the MVA, so a speeder is still breaking the MVA,,,, Correct?

If I understand correctly, MVA 124 (1) (p) covers the control of motor vehicles and in conjunction with with the Municipal act 542-548 allow a Municipality with permission from the Minister of Transport, to change a posted speed limit to control motor vehicles.

But Hey, I'm not a lawyer either and could be wrong, but that's how I understand it, and MVA 147 only states where the 30 km/hr is posted, a driver may not exceed that limit, it makes no mention of the new 20 km/hr posted limit yet.  but breaking a posted speed is still speeding against the MVA, is it not?

Back to school!

This can be confusing, I know.

Entering the school zone while traveling at 30 km/hr is only 33 1/3 % over the 20 km/hr speed limit

I'm no math whiz, but no.  Bear with me.

Supposing you had a highway with a speed limit of 100 km/h, and a driver who decided to exceed that limit by 50%, OK? That driver would then be travelling at a speed of: 150 km/h!

To maintain the analogy, it's the same as a driver doing 120 in an 80 zone, 90 in a 60 zone, 60 in a 40 zone, and so on; in each case, the driver would be traveling at 50% over the speed limit.

A driver in a 20 km/h zone (the Rossland School Zone situation we're talking about) who chose to drive at 33.3% over the limit would achieve this by driving 26.6 km/h. At 30 km/h he would be 50% over the limit. Grab a calculator and multiply 20 by 150% and you'll see.

The Bylaw allows the city to change the speed limit according to the MVA, so a speeder is still breaking the MVA,,,, Correct?

He would be breaking the local bylaw, in this case; but I don't think he would be breaking the MVA section on School Zones because I don't believe that 30 km/h specified in the MVA for School Zones is changeable by a municipality - such as Rossland.

So a police officer writing a ticket would need to find a separate section of the MVA (i.e. an offence under Section 146, rather than Section 147) in order for the driver to receive Point Penalties as these can only be assessed (to the best of my knowledge) under the Motor Vehicle Act, MVA Regulations, or Criminal Code (those automatic 10 point offences).

 

Speeding is against the MVA

Not a bylaw, and an incorporated municipality can change a speed limits, at least according to the government, here copied & pasted,,,, " The BC Motor Vehicle Act establishes the basic or “statutory” speed limit on all public roads: 80km/h outside municipalities and 50km/h within municipalities.

The respective road authority (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure or incorporated municipality) may alter posted speed limits. "

Here is the whole page,,, http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/popular-topics/faq.htm

It makes no mention that the altered speed would then be a bylaw.

I didn't mean to

Make you curious:-) The good news is no news,I thought there might be a flood of complaints, but so far so good. Sure there must have been some people complain, there always is, but no big major negative story's that I have seen yet, not even from the BIG complaining speed advocacy group, and that's saying something. So I guess it wasn't the end of the world after all, LOL.

Beware of school children

Beware of school children, especially if they are driving cars.

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