Nanaimo RCMP officers have issued 14 tickets to motorists speeding through local school zones since children returned to school last week.
When school is in session, speeds reduce to 30 kilometres per hour from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Though officers have caught 14 speeders, they're aware many more heavyfooted motorists speed through school zones.
"A lot of it is really dependent on how much enforcement we throw at it," said RCMP Const. Gary O'Brien.
The amount of tickets issued is on par with previous years, he added.
Nanaimo's RCMP traffic unit works a week of days and then follows with a week of nights. The unit is unable to help with school zone enforcement while working the night shift.
"Enforcement is still there," O'Brien said. "It's still a priority with our traffic unit and it's still a priority within the mandate of the general duty members. These guys fit it into their whole schedule."
"They're also told in the morning to be visible and where you can issue speeding tickets in school zones."
O'Brien anticipates the detachment will see fewer school-zone speeders by the middle of October.
"We're all creatures of habit. This is what happens in that the school zones aren't forced because school is not in during the summer. People are naturally going through these zones at 55 to 65 km/h. Once it happens in September there has to be a readjustment of their habits and unfortunately sometimes you have to do enforcement."
Motorists need to pay attention to their speed just as much as parents need to pay attention to their kids.
"Parents have to be extremely vigilant with keeping an eye on their kids. Young children are highly unpredictable as we saw last week when a young girl tragically ran across the street," O'Brien said.
A five-year-old girl was sent to hospital after being struck by a car on Wakesiah Avenue on Sept. 6. She was treated for possible internal injuries and a broken pelvis.
The child and her mother crossed the road to cut through a local church on the way to school.
"She jumped ahead of her mom, her mom couldn't get a hold of her," O'Brien said.
No charges are expected. "Parents have to stress and pressure their kids to realize that you only cross the streets at crosswalks," O'Brien said.
Speed has been ruled out as a factor in the incident.
"Fortunately, if speed was an issue we would be looking at a different result."
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