WATCH: It’s children’s’ art with a vital message. The Oak Bay Police Department is serious about cracking down on drivers speeding in a school zone and you might not only get a ticket and points. Drivers also receive a lesson from the students at Willows Elementary School. Mary Griffin reports.
Const. Markus Lueder’s radar gun registered a speeder on Wednesday. This vehicle was travelling well over the speed limit of 30 kilometres an hour in a school zone.
“So I stopped you for speeding in the school zone today. This is your speed right here,” Lueder said to a driver speeding through the school zone.
“That vehicle was simply driving too fast in the school zone. I estimated his speed to be approximately close to 50 kilometres as he approached the school zone. And so once he passed the 30 kilometre an hour zone, I still had my 44 kilometres an hour on my radar. That is too fast when kids are just about to get out of school,” Lueder said.
When asked what is going to happen to the driver, Lueder says, “And he’s going to get a ticket from me.”
But these are tickets with a difference They are part of a project called “Think of Me.” It’s an initiative from the RCMP and ICBC, now adopted by a variety of police departments, including Oak Bay’s department.
Lueder says the campaign is effective. “The students have drawn pictures of motorists driving properly, and driving dangerously. And the kids would like you to have a copy of that just to remind you to slow down in their school zone.”
In a minute, the officer stopped a speeder. This driver was then stopped just outside Willows Elementary School. Even though he was getting a ticket, James MacLeod says he agrees with the campaign. “I think it’s excellent. Yeah? I was just, wasn’t paying attention. I’ve very mindful of the speed zone. But today was just not my day,” MacLeod said.
Grade 5 students who cross the busy street twice a day on their way to and from school drew the pictures Cst. Lueder is handing out.
Ginette Gorman, one of the students’ parents, fully supports the campaign. “I think it’s great. Anything that you can call attention to slowing down specifically here,” Gorman said. “Constable Lueder is always here. He does a fantastic job of bringing awareness.”
For Lueder, it’s all about children and safety. “It’s a campaign that focuses the attention on the children. The reason why people should slow down in a school zone,” Lueder said.
“Because at the end of the day, they shouldn’t slow down because the police may be there. They should slow down because children may be there.”