Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Speeding near schools nets fines

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A total of 128 drivers in Winnipeg were fined Tuesday for speeding in a school zone, the result of a police blitz to enforce the new 30 km/h zones that began this week.

Another 173 drivers got off with warnings, statistics released on Tuesday afternoon by the Winnipeg Police Service show.

Province creates new road fine

DRIVERS on either side of an undivided highway who speed past a stopped tow truck with lights flashing will be subject to a $300 fine as of Sept. 12.

The new fine is being brought in by the Selinger government under the Highway Traffic Act to provide more safety for first responders.

Currently, drivers on the same side of the road as a stopped emergency vehicle -- tow trucks, roadside-assistance vehicles and vehicles operated by government enforcement officers with their beacons activated -- are required to slow down.

Drivers travelling on a multi-lane highway must also move to a lane farther from emergency vehicles and only pass emergency vehicles when it is safe to do so.

Effective Sept. 12, drivers on either side of an undivided highway who pass emergency vehicles and other vehicles that are stopped with their beacons flashing will be required to slow down to the following maximum speeds: 40 km/h on highways with posted maximum speed limits below 80 km/h and 60 km/h on highways with posted maximum speed limits of 80 km/h or more.

CAA Manitoba first lobbied the government for the creation of such a law in 2009.

Drivers who do not follow the new reduced speeds risk a fine of $299.65 and two demerit points on their driver safety rating.

In May, the province doubled speeding fines for lead-foots zooming through designated construction zones.

The tickets and warnings were handed out between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. as police began enforcement at several of the 171 school zones where 30 km/h signs were erected over the summer.

School zones in other areas of the province, such as Brandon, Winkler and Portage la Prairie, have already adopted restricted speeds.

The new school speed limits are in effect from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., September to June. All the signed school zones have students in Grade 6 and lower.

Speeding fines in school zones start at $181.50 for going 10 km/h over the posted speed limit.

Drivers nabbed going 20 km/h over the school zone limit are fined $312.25.

On the Free Press website, readers had mixed opinions about the new school zone speed limits.

"This is not about safety of the children. If it was, they would have just installed speed humps around the schools to slow the traffic to 30 km/h. This is only for getting more revenue in the city," said AJ9000.

"I'm all for speed bumps. Great big suckers. I am also all for fining half the population of Winnipeg for speeding if it slows traffic down around children," dehall responded.

"If they don't read the speed-limit signs, they should get a ticket. It is one of the basic functions of operating a motor vehicle," dehall added.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 3, 2014 B3

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