With the return to school after the Labour Day long weekend, police services in Altona, Winkler and Morden are once again reminding motorists to share the road responsibly with students that maybe walking or cycling to school, and with school buses.
To encourage this, the departments running a Back-to-School safety campaign. During this time, officers will be working dedicated traffic enforcement shifts, concentrating on road safety in designated school zones and along school bus routes, especially at loading and unloading locations. Funding for the dedicated traffic enforcement is provided by Manitoba Public Insurance.
Winkler Police Chief Ryan Hunt says, traffic travelling in both directions must stop when approaching a school bus that has its red or amber lights flashing.
"Even though there are no classes until next week, it’s a good idea to get into the practice of slowing down," added Hunt.
In a statement to PembinaValleyOnline, Altona Police Chief Dan Defer said officers are not out to target drivers, but rather to ensure the safety of our children as they go to and from school. He encouraged motorists to plan for the added traffic and reduced speeds and give themselves a few extra minutes for their daily travel.
"The safety of our children is the important factor here, and drivers are reminded to slow down in the school zones and stop for school buses while loading and unloading. The couple of extra seconds this takes in our daily travel is worth the time, considering what’s at cost," he noted.
In Morden, the police service will be running a pilot program with a new position called a Community Resource Officer (CRO).
Cst. Jeff Forster is heading up this new initiative and will be in and around the schools next week, specifically working with the school patrols, monitoring traffic/students and working with the schools in general.
"This position hopes to get us into and involved more in the schools with talks, tours and presentations in the community," said Police Chief Brad Neduzak.
Meantime, a reminder that school zone speed limits come back into effect today in Altona with a limit of 30 km/h.
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