8.7 C
Elmira
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

Back to school brings heightened monitoring by police and township officials

TRENDING

News Briefs

Woolwich nixes traffic islands Displeased with the troublesome pedestrian islands installed during the Region of Waterloo’s reconstruction of Church Street...

20-year-old agreement causes a stir

An Elmira environmentalist’s “smoking gun” appears to be shooting blanks. Al Marshall, a long-time critic of cleanup efforts at...

Forks up to farmers on well-timed Agriculture Day

February is not the most obvious time to celebrate agriculture in Canada. But that’s...

EDSS student wins $5,000 scholarship to pursue his university education

Max Campbell’s dreams of perhaps one day making it to space got a down-to-Earth boost last week in the...

THIS WEEK

Elmira
clear sky
8.7 ° C
11.1 °
7 °
26 %
4.1kmh
1 %
Sun
8 °
Mon
7 °
Tue
3 °
Wed
7 °
Thu
2 °

Getting back to work after the coming long weekend will be joined by back to school, making the roads a bit more crowded than they’ve been for a few months. For drivers who may be a little rusty behind the wheel, police and township bylaw enforcement officers will be out in numbers next week.

Officials are in fact already reminding drivers to take heed.

“I think the biggest thing is just that drivers forget,” said Jeff Smith, deputy clerk for Woolwich Township. “If you went to work on August 31, the volume is significantly different on September 4. You’ll have buses; you’ll have school crossings, you’ll even just have a few more parents out there driving kids to school. So I think the volume’s increase, and some parents or some drivers just forget about that. And we want to make sure that people aren’t frustrated or upset and doing anything that would cause a safety concern.”

There are statistically more traffic incidents around new school buildings, in particular, notes Waterloo Regional Police Staff Sgt. Michael Hinsberger.

“Some of the areas like that were high-volume areas, in combination with some of the newer schools. Those areas we certainly like to watch and do a lot of enforcement at,” he said, pointing to the example of a new Kitchener school last year that came under scrutiny.

“There was, indeed, an area that we focused a lot of enforcement for speeders or other aggressive driving offenses … because drivers aren’t necessarily aware that it’s a new school area. And certainly, the students in some of those cases, because it’s a new school that they’re attending, aren’t as familiar as some of the other areas where the schools are a little bit more established.

“So areas like that, we like to try to focus on to some degree.”

An example of a local caution area is the Sawmill Road, Conestogo area, scene of some construction this year and last. There has been research done by both the township and police to target problem areas, and measures are taken to avoid any incidents this year.

Typically, that means heavy police presence in these areas, hiring a sufficient amount of crossing guards, and public reminders to raise awareness of the upcoming heavy traffic.

Local areas that will feature crossing guards include John Mahood Public School, Riverside Public School, St. Jacobs Public School, St. Boniface School in Maryhill, Conestogo Public School, and Breslau Public School.

Region-wide, there has been a history of reckless driving incidents as the school year starts, say police.

“Last year we certainly had a number of incidents from traffic stops,” said Hinsberger. “We had several stunt driving incidents where vehicles were speeding through the school areas, to the extreme where we had to impound a vehicle and lay stunt driving charges.

“So, again, those are some of the extreme cases, and it’s not that they’re in high numbers, but those are certainly incidents of concern from our end.

“Hopefully, we can try to cut those numbers down.”

Officials remind drivers to be more attentive and cautious starting next week.

“We have been putting ads out to remind drivers that sometimes it takes a little bit longer to get to work,” said Smith. “You know, stop when you see the stop sign, stay stopped, that kind of thing.”

“I think everybody’s aware of when school’s starting, and we’re certainly going to be out in full force from an enforcement standpoint, with vehicle enforcement and traffic enforcement in the school areas,” added Hinsberger. “Just a reminder for everybody to watch out for the little ones especially, they’re not used to being out walking in and around those areas.”

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

LIVING HERE

Under the auctioneer’s gavel to provide help Down Under

After seeing the devastation from the Australian wildfires, a local art collector sold the first painting she ever bought on Saturday to help raise money for relief efforts there. Nancy...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Sugar Kings win three games, clinch first place

In need of just one more win to clinch first place in the Midwestern Conference, the Elmira Sugar Kings claimed all three games...

U.S. edges out Canada in national para hockey battle

In the natural on-ice rivalry between Canada and the U.S., the American para hockey team has had the advantage in recent years. That...

Jacks take 3-2 series lead into deciding weekend vs. New Hamburg

The Wellesley Applejacks are up 3-2 in their best-of-seven series against the New Hamburg Firebirds, having claimed two of this week’s three games in...
- Advertisement -