Parents are not getting the message when it comes to traffic violations in school zones; ‘Stop them. Hit their pockets, so they learn,’ said councillorParents who park illegally, block driveways or intersections, and ignore signs when dropping off their children at local schools are being warned: Bradford West Gwillimbury By-law Enforcement has been asked to take a “zero tolerance” approach to traffic infractions in school zones this September.
The issue came up at council on Tuesday night when Manager of Enforcement Brent Lee presented an update on enforcement activity in the town during the first six months of 2019.
Traffic tickets were up by 4 per cent over the previous year, complaints regarding property standards and clean yards were up 21 per cent and animal control calls were down 12.8 per cent.
But what caught the attention of councillors were the statistics related to school zone enforcement.
In the first two quarters of 2019, Enforcement officers issued 405 verbal warnings and 180 tickets in school zones.
Councillor Raj Sandhu suggested that the time for warnings is past.
“The message is not getting to these people,” Councillor Sandhu said. “We need to start ticketing these parents because they’re not learning.”
Lee agreed, noting that enforcement has been “trying to track more vigorously” the infractions occurring in school zones. Year over year, he said, the 2019 figures represent “a drastic increase” in the number of tickets issued.
Sandhu suggested taking an even stronger approach.
“Before September, we need to send the message: Around schools, zero tolerance,” he said. “Stop them. Hit their pockets, so they learn.”
“The moment the officers leave, they block the corners,” said Coun. Mark Contois, referring to some drivers. “It’s always the same cars. It’s the same parents doing it… When you park in an intersection, that’s ridiculous.”
“They’re getting told by the teachers, the principals … They’re not getting it,” said Coun. Gary Baynes.
Lee was asked about the aftermath of this year’s inaugural Treasure Hunt Day.
Treasure Hunt Day invited residents to set still useful but unwanted items at roadside, on the principle that ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’ Passers-by could take any items set out at curbside; homeowners had to remove the items left behind at the end of the day.
Lee said that his department had received 14 complaints following Treasure Hunt Day – all of them easily resolved.
“All 14 were quickly fixed with an officer just attending,” Lee said, calling the complaint level “manageable.”