School zone speeders in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area may get more than just a ticket if they’re caught.
They will also get a child’s drawing with a message showing what would happen if they don’t slow down.
Oceanside RCMP has been handing out hand-drawn children’s illustrations to those nabbed speeding in school zones. Most of the messages are simply warnings to slow down but there are others that are poignant words such as “please don’t kill me.”
Youth Officer Const. Danielle Swanson said the drawings appear to have a deeper impact than just the regular tickets and fines as they draw heavy attention to the severe consequences of speeding at school zones.
“From what we’ve heard from the public coming in they said that it actually pulls at their heartstrings more because they feel guilty,” said Swanson. “This is more effective than having to pay $200.”
One man who received one of the drawings, Swanson said, came to the school last week and showed it to the principal.
“He said ‘thank you.’ I have never had a ticket in 30 years and this is the first time I was actually pulled over and it made me feel bad,” said Swanson.
This week, Swanson was greeted by Arrowview Elementary students, members of the Arrowview Kids Club, a before- and after-class care program, and presented her with a batch of hand-drawn artwork she intends to hand out to violators.
Oceanside RCMP have been undertaking the initiative at Arrowview and Nanoose Bay elementary schools.
“Those two schools are the most prominent right now,” said Swanson. “But Oceanside Elementary asked me to have some tickets and the principal will have her students doing them as well.”
ICBC statistics indicate last year, 7,900 drivers across the province were ticketed for speeding in school and playground zones.
Every year across the province, 380 children are injured and six are killed while walking or cycling. This includes 86 who were injured in playground and school zones.
On Vancouver Island, an average of two children are killed while walking or cycling, and 57 are injured in crashes every year, including 14 injured in playground zones.
On the Lower Mainland, an average of three children are killed every year while they were walking or cycling, and 260 are injured in crashes. This includes 51 injured in school and playground zones.