School Zones in Front of High School are BS

Last year in October I’m driving along Primrose, a street here in Saskatoon and I’m cruising along, I got my seatbelt on and I’m driving at what I believe to be a safe speed, got one arm out the window and enjoying my drive when all of a sudden I see police lights going off in my rearview mirror. My first thought is what am I being pulled over for? I’m not speeding, I got my seatbelt on, I was at a complete stop at a red light and wasn’t doing anything crazy. After being pulled over I found out that I was in a school zone and since the speed limit was 30 km/hr and I was driving 56 km/hr and since there is an automatic 200 dollar surcharge for speeding in a school zone, this resulted in a 424 dollar fine. On top of that since I’ve gotten points on my license, this resulted in a 450 dollar surcharge. I tried taking it to court because of confusing signage (which is a whole other blog entry) but in the end was forced to pay and was out almost a 1000 dollars.

I wasn’t driving 80, I didn’t blow through a red light, I wasn’t waving a shotgun out my window or driving drunk and yet I had to pay 1000 dollars. There was a kid that was arrested in Prince Albert who got out on a 100 dollars bail for nearly killing a taxi driver with a machete resulting in him having to get 167 stitches, yes that’s not a typo, 100 dollars, 1/10th what I had to pay. Now I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I don’t think going 56 in a school zone is worst for general public safety then someone randomly stabbing cab drivers with machetes but that’s just my opinion.

Now I might understand the need for a ticket if I was driving by an elementary school in a quiet residential neighbourhood but this was a high school and I was driving down a 4 lane road. The school is surrounded by commercial outlets like a gas station, Diary Queen and a KFC and doesn’t even look like a high school.  Since this was at like 10:30, it was the middle of the morning when there weren’t any kids around because they were all in classes.  The only thing that indicates that there’s a high school there is a lowly 30 km/hr sign three blocks back.

Do we really need to drive 30km/hr by high schools? I mean these kids are between 14-18 years old. They know how to look both ways before crossing the road. Some of these kids are old enough to drive. If you look at most high school parking lots, they are driving vehicles that are nicer then the teachers. If you’re old enough to frickin drive then you are old enough to cross the street. I almost think that the decreased speeds might make things more dangerous because the kids are very cavalier and careless about crossing the road since everyone is driving so slowly.

Most high schools in Saskatoon are on major roads throughout the city severely impeding traffic and slowing down the traffic flow of the city. Taylor St and is a major west-east artery in town and has five school zones. Driving down it anytime throughout the day is a major headache so what does everyone do? They drive down all the side roads that run parallel with that street. This in turn actually makes all those quiet residential streets full of uncontrolled intersections that much more dangerous for all the kids that are walking around those areas throughout the day that may not be in a school zone.

Driving 30 km/hr is not easy, it takes constant finessing of the gas pedal to maintain that speed and it’s very easy on most vehicles to creep back up to 50 because most vehicles were designed to comfortably drive at that speed. So as a result of this, people are spending more time watching their speedometer then actually paying attention to the road.

The Saskatoon Police chief has admitted that these school zone speeds warrant review yet of course nothing has happened. I’m sorry but driving 40-50 while driving by a high school is not endangering anyone. Of course the first 1st of September they were out there with their stupid radar guns and ticketed 37 people, like man give people a day to get used to it for crying out loud. They’ve even been out there on statutory holidays when there isn’t a student in sight which is just shameless.

The Saskatoon Police have handed out 407 cell phone tickets since the new law came into effect which carries a 380 dollar fine plus 4 points on your license. The Regina Police have handed out 66 tickets. Are people in Regina more law abiding? I seriously doubt it. No the Saskatoon Police Service just put a much greater emphasis on handing out easy money tickets, meanwhile our crime rate is the highest in the country.

So in closing let me just say this, this is nothing but a stupid money grab for the Saskatoon Police, SGI and Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice. They know how easy it is to break this law and how expensive the tickets are.  I’m not a maniac, if I see kids nearby I slow down.  I think everyone involved in the allocation of police resources need to reevaluate their priorities and use all these squad cars they have hiding in the bushes in school zones towards ya know, actual real crime and lay off the law abiding tax paying citizens that they seem to be targeting.

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6 Responses to “School Zones in Front of High School are BS”

  1. stizzed says:

    You’re honestly going too sit here and compare a young offender to your own story???? Issues are at hand here if you believe that they should remove speed limits in school zones. I think you’re right in a sense you did get the run around with the whole 1000$ fines but let me ask you this. Are you ever going too speed in a 35km/h zone now??? Prolly not. It’s called making an example. We all know signs/lights control the roads not our personal opinions. Who cares if it’s a highschool. Remember this. There are students with situations where they cannot move as fast as the majority, yes im talking about the physically handicapped as well as mentally. So you think because a high school student should have enough sense too not run on the road that it’s okay too speed and provide this little article of your “injustice”. Get real this is life not your own create-a-story. Situations happen and there is reason these 35km/h are only in affect during school hours. If you think because it was 10 in the morning it justifies your err in judgement you’re sorely mistaken. What happens if a field trip is taking place?? or an outdoor phys.ed activity. I think you’re ego has gotten the best of you and whatever vendetta you have with the police is your own. But don’t embarrass the freedoms of speech by goin on this outlandish rant. I think it’s time you focus your attention to something that makes a point.

  2. admin says:

    There’s no greater concentration of handicapped around high schools then any other part of the city. We should probably have school zones in front of nursing homes and special care homes if that’s the case or better yet we’ll just lower the speed limit across the city in the off chance that someone gets hit.

    If there was some kind of field trip going on then I would slow down just like any sane person would. I don’t need them telling me to.

    “But don’t embarrass the freedoms of speech by goin on this outlandish rant. I think it’s time you focus your attention to something that makes a point.”

    I think that’s pretty extreme, comparing my complaining about school zone speed limits to like burning the flag or something but nevertheless I like it!

  3. Baron2Baines says:

    I completely, absolutely, 100% agree with you Bryce. Towards the point and your comment-comeback.
    I cant tell you how many times I have seen parents not holding their child’s hand while they cross the street or what about the kids riding bikes or rollerblading across streets all over the city. Just the other day I seen two kids, under the age of 10 walking through a busy, congested intersection without parental supervision. My point is, the reality is, a kid could get hit by a vehicle anywhere on any street at any speed by anybody. Its parent’s responsibility to educate their children to look both ways and you would assume that when you graduate into big kid school, that your intelligent enough to do so. Also, I’m sure that the majority of the drivers speeding by schools are the students themselves when they peal out after classes. They reduce the speed on streets surrounding schools, where its obvious kids will be present.. but they don’t worry about side streets, back alleys, neighborhoods, shopping areas or non school parks? Drivers should naturally watch for all pedestrians young or old, handicapped or not. And if they don’t know to do so, how’d they pass a drivers exam? It’s important that drivers are aware of their surroundings, in every situation. And what about the elderly, who drive slow EVERYWHERE. how many accidents they cause because of how cautious they are. taking it slow isn’t the only way to save lives on the streets, being smart is.

  4. Mike says:

    I agree with Bryce.
    As for the perfect stizzed??? Doesn’t get the point at all.

    (stizzed -Issues are at hand here if you believe that they should remove speed limits in school zones.) Bryce did not say this, why are you saying he did?

    (stizzed -You’re honestly going too sit here and compare a young offender to your own story????) why not it makes sense. Bryce makes a point by example but you don’t get that do you stizzed?

    (stizzed -Are you ever going too speed in a 35km/h zone now??? Prolly not. It’s called making an example.)
    Wrong, Speeding tickets are not to make examples out of people. Example to who? You think if someone gets a ticket they’ll stop speeding? And you’re perfect who never speeds in a school zone? I doubt it. Was the speed trap or police there during school rush hour. No. Why? Because they know most will not speed in a school zone when kids are around, therefore will not make money from tickets. They setup radar when there’s not a sole around and when the average driver feels ridiculous driving 35km when there’s nobody around or students. He was doing average speed limit of two blocks back and he entered into a dropped speed zone. Most speed traps are setup just beyond dropped speed zones of all kinds not just school zones and its not for safety reasons. If it was safety you’d see speed traps on residential roads where kids play and you won’t see that often.

    (stizzed -We all know signs/lights control the roads not our personal opinions.)
    What does that have to do with anything? So just because there’s signs/lights he can’t speak his opinions as you are doing about his article? You use the words “we all know”, how do you know we all know? That’s your opinion and no signs/lights are not to control roads. They are there to regulate traffic and synchronization.

    (stizzed -Who cares if it’s a highschool.)
    Bryce pointed that out clearly. You did not get the point at all.

    (stizzed -There are students with situations where they cannot move as fast as the majority, yes im talking about the physically handicapped as well as mentally.) Wow, not exactly reality is it? How many times have you seen handicapped people on roads, get real! what’s a hypothetical situation like that got to do with this? You are using handicapped as a guilt tool.

    (stizzed -So you think because a high school student should have enough sense too not run on the road that it’s okay too speed and provide this little article of your “injustice”.)
    Wow, Bryce did not saying any of this at all and you are attacking him planting your own words. You are doing injustice by attacking Bryce and his right to speak of which he should be commended for, not put down.

    (stizzed -Get real this is life not your own create-a-story) that comment makes no sense at all. he has the guts to speak out and he is talking common sense not some create-a-story, which you totally do not get at all. You need to take your own advise stizzed.

    (stizzed -If you think because it was 10 in the morning it justifies your err in judgement you’re sorely mistaken.)
    he did not say that, you are putting in your own words and contradicted an earlier statement by saying “your err in judgement”. Think about it.

    (stizzed -What happens if a field trip is taking place??) well this did not happen so why bring up if’s? like you said “get real this is real life stizzed not your own create-a-story”…

    (stizzed -I think you’re ego has gotten the best of you and whatever vendetta you have with the police is your own.) the only ego is yours.
    look up ego. There is no ego in Bryce’s article at all. the only vendetta is your naïve unrealistic attacks on Bryce’s rights and comments which you twisted into your own words.

    (stizzed -But don’t embarrass the freedoms of speech by goin on this outlandish rant.) stizzed..you are the only one on a rant and you embarrass the freedoms of speech by attacking Bryce’s. you say “embarrass the freedoms of speech”? what do you call this statement you made “ We all know signs/lights control the roads not our personal opinions.”. you don’t believe in freedom of speech stizzed remember. And this example you wrote too “Get real this is life not your own create-a-story”. putting down Bryce’s freedom of speech and you stizzed embarrass the freedoms of speech.

    (stizzed -I think it’s time you focus your attention to something that makes a point.)
    this one takes the cake. Stizzed, You totally do not make any sense on anything you have said in relation to the article except to attack someone based on your own frustrations which you do not even understand yourself. And you are advising Bryce what he should do? Stizzed…you need to take your own advice on all counts. And if you think Bryce did not make a very good point (s) then you (without prejudice) are totally ignorant to the whole article. I don’t mean that in an insulting way as you do with Bryce, but for real. Stizzed, How’s it feel to have done to you as you did to Bryce with total disrespect for his intelligence and his freedom of speech?

  5. Chris says:

    You should look at the statistics and reports from Edmonton. They found that without having reduced speeds in school zones, they have 15% less collisions with elementary aged children compared to Calgary which does have reduced speeds. We’re about to get these reduced speeds in Winnipeg. I have written a full report about the signing issues in Winnipeg. Part 6 is about reduced speeds and covers the Edmonton research thoroughly. Many of the points you made are covered.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/98484759/Winnipeg-School-Area-Signing-Study

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