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The RCMP is reminding drivers to slow down in school zones now that in-class learning is back in session.

“I think people kind of forget over the summer, and it’s been a long time since there was any kids in school, that they kind of forget about those school zones,” said Sergeant Neil Logan of Prince District RCMP. “But it’s super important to drive the speed limit or below in the school zone areas.”

To help remind drivers of this, RCMP have set up traffic initiatives in school zones in Prince District. At least one driver was pulled over in front of Westisle Composite High School on Sept. 8, the first day of classes.

Sgt. Logan said RCMP have noticed an increase in the speeds in school zones over the last several months, and that it’s important for drivers to be aware of the rate of speed they’re going because RCMP don’t want to see anyone get hurt, especially if there are children running and playing outside.

If a person is caught speeding in a school zone, fines are twice the amount of a normal speeding ticket.

Sgt. Logan said he knows with the pandemic, students aren’t playing outside as much as they normally would be, but they’re still playing outside, something drivers need to be aware of.

He also added the faster a driver is going, the less time there is to react, meaning it takes longer to bring their vehicle to a complete stop.

“To drive even 10 km over the speed limit, if a kid jets out in front of a car, it just takes that much longer for you to react and stop the vehicle,” he said. “You definitely want to pay attention to those speed limits just to decrease that chance, if a kid does happen to come out in front of your vehicle, that you do have the time to react and come to a complete stop.”

The Highway Traffic Act designates the specific hours a driver must slow down while in a school zone. While this act varies from province to province, in Prince Edward Island, the posted speed limit for school zones when classes are in session is 60 km/h, from 8 am to 5 pm.

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