Being safe in school zones only costs seconds

Just how much does it cost a driver if they do slow down properly for a school zone?

It’s tough to write a fresh article on some traffic safety topics.

Urging drivers to watch for children and slow down in school zones at the start of each school year is just one example.

Everyone should know this along with the fact that traffic police will be active in school zones issuing expensive tickets for those who don’t slow to 30 on a regular school day.

So, let’s take a different look at the situation. Just how much does it cost a driver if they do slow down properly for a school zone?

School zones are most often 50 km/h zones when drivers are not required to slow down.

This is a speed of about 13.9 metres per second. My calculator also shows that the 30 km/h school zone speed is about 8.3 m/s.

Now let’s consider a school zone about 400 metres in length. This distance might even be a bit long for most zones, but it takes about 29 seconds to drive this distance at 50 km/h. Slow down to 30 km/h and it takes about 48 seconds, or only 19 seconds longer.

Nineteen seconds is trivial and I’ll dare to say that all drivers can spare 19 seconds out of their day to contribute to school zone safety.

Add the fact that a collision with a pedestrian when driving 30 km/h is significantly more survivable than one at 50 km/h and you don’t have any logical way of justifying your failure to obey the speed limit in these situations!

For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Friday.

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