September is here and back to school time means back to sharing the road with school vehicles and being extra careful with students walking. To help keep everyone safe, Kitchener, Waterloo, and other areas of Waterloo Region have lowered speed limits and added speed cameras.
By slowing down, obeying the new rules, and being careful in school zones, can save you from big fines and potentially even bigger increases in your insurance premiums.
Kitchener council has reduced speed limits from 50 km/h to 40 km/h in neighbourhoods, while school zones are further reduced to 30km/h. Meantime Waterloo council has approved a 30 km/h speed limit through residential streets.
As another step towards improving road safety, Waterloo Region introduced Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) cameras in a number of school zones. Much like automatic red light cameras that we’re used to, these units capture a picture of the offending car and licence plate, then send a ticket to the car’s owner.
Where are Waterloo Region speed cameras? Automated Speed Enforcement in Waterloo Region
Traffic laws have also been updated to help keep children and drivers safe. A driver who fails to stop for a school bus faces a fine of up to $2,000 and six demerit points for a first offence. Subsequent offences will mean increased fines, demerit points and possible jail time of up to six months.
The use of cameras on school buses is also becoming more common in Ontario, making it easier to identify offenders and deter drivers from disobeying the laws.
Other provinces in Canada are also re-evaluating and updating traffic laws to increase safety for students. For example, drivers in PEI who fail to stop for school buses now face a licence suspension. Ontario is following suit with proposals to change the laws in order to allow for steeper fines and stronger punishments.
Read More: Ontario School Bus Safety
Here is an annual reminder to pay attention to the speed limit signs and do your part to help keep our neighbourhoods and school zones a safe place for everyone.