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Back to school safety starts in the school zone

October 3, 2022 / For immediate release

AIRDRIE, ALBERTA – As Airdrie students headed back to school this fall, Airdrie Municipal Enforcement (AME) and RCMP officers weren’t far behind. Education and enforcement around school zone safety was a top priority during the month of September reminding drivers and students of the critical importance of safety around schools.

“Although school zone safety is important throughout the year, September is an ideal time to engage with the community in these areas,” said Airdrie Municipal Enforcement Team Leader, Brian Rayner. “At the beginning of the school year, everyone is in learning mode which is helpful when the goal of our officers is to educate.”

During the month, from September 1-23, officers attended all schools as part of Municipal Enforcement’s commitment to traffic safety. This included foot and vehicle patrols in or around the school grounds during morning, lunch and dismissal periods when most traffic and student activity is occurring.

While AME visited local elementary and junior high schools, their RCMP partners focused on high schools in the city. Overall, the majority of interactions were positive and provided an opportunity for the officers to share important messages around speed, parking and crosswalk safety.

One important topic that was discussed many times, is the requirement to park 5 metres from a crosswalk. In school zones, especially during pick up and drop off periods, officers noted that it was common to see vehicles parked very close to crosswalks. This causes a significant safety issue as drivers cannot see pedestrians entering the crosswalk. Leaving a distance of 5 metres on either side of all crosswalks is the law and more importantly, allows for visibility of pedestrians, especially those in a hurry to get to school.

The goal of the AME team during the school zone safety blitz was to gain voluntary compliance with the public and using enforcement through tickets as a last resort. AME officers logged 450 individual interactions with members of the public during that period. 19 violation tickets were issued for parking and driving violations in a school zone, with another 38 official warnings issued for similar offences. At local high schools, RCMP members conducted 78 patrols, issued 10 warnings specific to driving behaviour and parking, while an additional 49 school zone speeding tickets were handed out.

AME and RCMP officers will continue to visit school zones throughout the year to support and encourage safety in these areas.

“We want to thank the community for working with us to keep our school zones and students safe. We encourage you to chat with our officers if you encounter them in your day,” continued Rayner. “They’re here to help and appreciate any opportunity to answer questions our residents have about the services we provide.”


Media contact:
Brian Rayner
Team Leader, Airdrie Municipal Enforcement
403.948.8800 ext 8612