Vancouver cops crack down on playground-zone speeders

By Carmen Chai, The ProvinceAugust 17, 2009Comments (8)

VANCOUVER — Police have launched a week-long campaign to catch speeders in Vancouver school and playground zones.
This year’s “Two Strikes and You’re Out” program, the second annual Speed Watch Campaign, kicked off Monday and will run until Aug. 21.
Sgt. Peter Groenland said speeder boards have been set up in five “high-risk” locations.
The catch is that an officer with a radar gun is placed a block away from the speeder board so drivers will be caught and ticketed right away if they are speeding.
“The first strike is when you drive through the reader board,” Groenland said, adding that the limit is 30 kilometres in school zones.
“The second strike is when the radar guy steps out and says, ‘Hello. You’re going to get a ticket,’” he said.
Groenland said police are targeting drivers who run red lights, ignore crosswalks and dangerously speed in playground zones.
The initiative was launched this week just before school starts.
“This is to wake people up and believe me, they need it here,” Groenland said.
The five targeted locations include the 1900-block Victoria Drive, the 2600-block East 1st Avenue, the intersection of Main and 53rd streets and both the 4200-block and 4400-block West 16th Avenue.
All the targeted areas are in playground zones, where 30-km/h speed limits are in effect 365 days a year. Areas designated only as school zones have a 30-km/h limit on days school is in session.
Speeding tickets are roughly $170, Groenland said, adding that some drivers face additional fines if they are caught without their seatbelt on.
Last year, hundreds of speeding tickets were issued during the week-long campaign.
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