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Aug. 4, 2020 | Tuesday
Local News
Community Safety Zone celebrated at St. Davids Public School


A new community safety zone at St. Davids Public School has already helped with protecting children on the roads, says St. Davids school principal Tracey Leemet.

A celebration recognizing community safety zone was held at St. Davids school Thursday morning. Several town and regional officials, including Lord Mayor Betty Disero and regional councillor Gary Zalepa, attended the event to make short remarks about the importance of road safety.

Joined by St. Davids school staff and students, representatives from Niagara Regional Police, District School Board of Niagara and Niagara Student Transportation Services were also on hand.

The event also recognized October as an International Walk to School Month, which is an annual celebration promoting active transportation.

Leemet said she is thrilled to have a safety zone implemented in the school area.

“We definitely have seen a difference,” Leemet told The Lake Report. “Anything that enhances the school safety, we’re all for (it), so we’re absolutely thrilled."

Earlier in July, Niagara Region approved the creation of two community safety zones on regional roads.

The first location is at St. Davids Public School. The signs for the 1.10-kilometre zone, stretching from York and Queenston roads to Concession 3 Road, were installed on the first day of school in September. The enforcement started mid-September after police had held an educational campaign informing the public about the new changes.

Another safety zone is located at Twenty Valley Public School in Vineland. The 1.20-kilometre zone stretches from Victoria and Frederick avenues to King Street and Regional Road 81.

Fines are increased in community safety zones, which are meant to let drivers know they’re in the area of special public concern. Such zones may include roads near schools, daycare centres, hospitals, senior residences, parks and playgrounds.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero thanked the Region, the Town of NOTL, St. Davids’ residents and police for working together on making public streets safer.

“This is the beginning for the whole area of St. Davids,” Disero told a crowd of about two dozen people gathered at school. “For children walking back and forth to school, walking to the pool in the summer at the Lions Club, they now will be able to walk a little safer. And that was most important to all of us.”

Since police launched the enforcement on York Road, 18 provincial offence notices and three warnings have been issued in total. Violations ranged from speeding to expired license plates, said Niagara Regional Police District 2 Commander and Insp. James McCaffery.

“The reception from the community members has been supportive of the safety zone, however not everyone’s happy to be pulled over,” McCaffery said. “But for the general part, we’re getting the reception back.”

By the end of this year, the regional staff is expected to report back to council with recommendations on the possibility of adding more community safety zones throughout the region.