April 21, 2018

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School-zone speed traps set up Christmas Day

Winnipeg drivers getting tickets throughout holiday break

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Rick Kisil is frustrated that mobile photo radar vehicles are set up in school zones even though school is out for winter break. </p>

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Rick Kisil is frustrated that mobile photo radar vehicles are set up in school zones even though school is out for winter break.

A Winnipeg motorist says his holiday spirit is on hold as he waits to see whether he will receive tickets for speeding in a school zone on Christmas Day.

Rick Kisil was heading to a family Christmas dinner about 4:30 p.m. Monday, when he spotted a photo-radar enforcement van parked near H.S. Paul School in River Park South.

Kisil said he assumed photo radar vehicles wouldn't be active during the holidays, and was driving 50 km/h in the school zone, where drivers are limited to 30 km/h on weekdays.

Kisil believes he might get two tickets in the mail because he passed the school a few times that day.

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A Winnipeg motorist says his holiday spirit is on hold as he waits to see whether he will receive tickets for speeding in a school zone on Christmas Day.

Rick Kisil was heading to a family Christmas dinner about 4:30 p.m. Monday, when he spotted a photo-radar enforcement van parked near H.S. Paul School in River Park South.

Kisil said he assumed photo radar vehicles wouldn't be active during the holidays, and was driving 50 km/h in the school zone, where drivers are limited to 30 km/h on weekdays.

Kisil believes he might get two tickets in the mail because he passed the school a few times that day.

"I've lived in River Park South for 30 years, and I know that school zone. I go down there roughly once or twice a day. When school is in, I go 30 km/h, but I wasn't even thinking. School isn't in," he said Tuesday.

Reduced-speed zones can be enforced Monday through Friday, regardless of holidays, said Winnipeg police spokesman Const. Jay Murray. Even though school might be out for children, drivers still have to take precautions in school zones, he said.

School zone speed limits are enforced to ensure the safety of children during school hours, police have said in the past. Manitoba Public Insurance's website states school zones are extra busy before and after school, and the combination of more cars, excited children and people in a hurry can be dangerous.

Maximum speed limits of 30 km/h around many Winnipeg schools are in effect from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, during the months of September to June inclusive, according to the City of Winnipeg's website.

Kisil said he was going about 50 km/h when he passed by the school, and the flash of the photo radar in the dark caught his attention. He said he turned around to make sure it was a bylaw enforcement vehicle, and was immediately frustrated to see it there.

"The van was set up, probably having a great day with tickets," he said.

"It's almost like a money grab. They know if they're there on a day like that, they'll hand out a lot of tickets."

The Manitoba Highway Traffic Act states anyone caught going 20 km/h over the speed limit is subject to a $312 fine.

In the meantime, Kisil will be checking his mailbox. Tickets may be served on the owner of a vehicle through the mail within 14 days after the date of an alleged offence, the city's website states.

Kisil said he will not fight his Christmas Day tickets and intends to pay them, but suggested the city donate the sum of his fines to charity.

"(The city) said they brought it in for the safety of children, but I think they brought it in to make money," he said.

kiera.kowalski@freepress.mb.ca

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