Delta police are giving drivers a failing grade after officers handed out over 200 tickets during the first two weeks of school.
DPD officers issued 217 violation tickets in school zones for speeding or distracted driving in school zones. Police also stopped one impaired driver as well as one prohibited driver during the enforcement blitz.
Police assure parents that patrols and enforcement efforts in school zones will continue throughout the school year, and are a priority for general duty officers as well as those assigned to the DPD’s traffic section.
According to a press release, traffic studies indicate that an adult who is struck by a car travelling at 50 km/h has a 50 per cent chance of being killed — at 65 km/h, there is an 85 per cent chance of death. Those statistics apply to adults; children are more likely to be hurt or killed, which is why the speed limit in school zones is set at 30 km/h.
“Drivers require a certain amount of time to both see a problem and then react to a problem,” Sgt. Sukh Sidhu, head of the traffic services for the Delta Police Department, said in a press release. “Perception/reaction time is 1.5 seconds for most people.”
Sidhu pointed out that a vehicle travelling at 80 km/h would travel 33 metres in the 1.5 seconds it would take a driver to start to react. 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 person.
“The faster you’re going, the more perspective a driver loses in terms of what’s going on around him or her,” Sidhu explained. “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.”
Police want drivers to remember these factors the next time they’re wondering if they really need to slow down to 30 km/h in a school zone.
“The few seconds you could save just aren’t worth it.”