Speed Watch rewarding drivers for slowing down
The Community Policing Office, Merritt Speed Watch, and the local school district are among the organizations teaming up for a School Zone Safety Blitz, in a campaign to recognize those who are driving the speed limit around schools.
Once a person is identified as obeying the rules, they are stopped by police and then a child hands the driver a ticket for a free coffee.
“It’s a community initiative and I think having the kids involved is huge,” Community Policing Co-ordinator Kelly Donaldson said. “Especially in light of what happened last week when the little girl was hit, I think this is timely more than anything.”
Today, the Bench Elementary school zone was expected to be the first area for positive ticketing, starting at around 10 a.m.
Other school zones designated for the ticketing include Nicola Canford and Central Elementary.
“I think the weather is going to turn pretty quick here,” Donaldson said. “We’ll start off doing those three schools, see what the response is and then we’ll do the other schools in the spring.”
Donaldson said the area around Central has a lot of trucks and is not as pedestrian safe as she would like.
“There are kids that do go up and down those roads all the time,” she said.
Nicola-Similkameen School District 58 Superintendent Bob Peacock said the initiative is designed to recognize those who are obeying the law, rather than punish those who aren’t.
“They always recognized the people who speed through by obviously giving them a speeding ticket,” he said. “Their thought was that they would recognize people going the speed limit by giving them a ticket with a thank-you on it. Tim Hortons has come on and are giving them free coffee cards.”
The blitz is also being facilitated by Tim Hortons, ICBC, the Merritt RCMP and the Central Interior Traffic Services.