There isn’t always a need for speed

There has been a lot of discussion by Weyburn residents in the last couple of years about the speed limit in school zones that has been put into place all over the city, and whether it’s too much or too strict.
Some aspects of the school zone limits seem unnecessary and overly strict, but in light of a recent incident, it is clear that the speed zone for schools should include playground areas, and should be in effect all week long.
The law as it currently stands is for the zones to be in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which actually does seem to be excessive in some ways.
For example, is it really necessary to force motorists to go 30 km an hour at 2 a.m. when there is literally no one around, certainly not any children?
No, this really is not needed to that extent.
But then there was an unfortunate incident that ought to make clear why the zone is in place. On a recent Sunday afternoon, a perfect summer day with warm, bright sunshine, many, many families with young children were out. Weyburn Minor ball games had filled the school yard at Haig, plus there were lots of families and kids at the Don Mitchell Tot Lot and spray park.
This sounds like an ideal way to spend a warm summer Sunday, right? Except that a six-year-old girl was hit by a vehicle on Coteau Avenue, and many who were there were shocked and angered and upset by what happened.
The principle here is clear, that having a playground-school zone needs to be in effect and enforced. Even with this law, it may not prevent accidents from happening, because accidental collisions between vehicles or between vehicles and pedestrians are not always predictable, and are completely due to the circumstances at the time.
The probability of an accident may be reduced, however, with a reduced speed, and thus the probability of injury would also be reduced, which is a good thing.
The need for this restriction could be tempered somewhat by not requiring the speed in the middle of the night when it’s not needed and isn’t practical to enforce. There is no danger posed to anyone driving at a normal speed when there is no one around — and the safety of our children is the paramount consideration for this speed zone.
The argument can be made that the zone ought to be in place all year round, then, because playground zones are active places when the weather’s warm and families are out to enjoy our facilities. Those same families will feel much safer knowing the zones are always in effect.

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