2022 Back To School – Traffic Safety and Awareness Day

On Tuesday September 6, 2022, the Niagara Regional Police Service conducted its 22nd annual back to school traffic safety and awareness day.  The goal of this initiative is to remind drivers about safe driving habits that can help protect the lives of citizens in Niagara.

Each year Senior Officers and those who work in specialty units, who are not regularly assigned to uniform patrol duties, put on their uniforms and head out to the local schools to take part in this traffic safety and awareness day.  In addition to the general uniform patrol, another 45 officers took part in the initiative.

Once again this year, the primary focus was speed enforcement in Niagara’s 12 Community Safety Zones.  The purpose of a Community Safety Zone is to modify driver behaviour and improve safety on certain sections of road where public safety is paramount.  The fines for offences committed in Community Safety Zones are increased and speeding fines are doubled.  None of the rules of the road change within the zone, only the penalties. 

With the return of back to school, student buses have also resumed service.  The Niagara Student Transportation Services (NSTS) have over 100 school buses that are equipped with video cameras for both the District School Board of Niagara and the Niagara Catholic District School Board.  It is an offence to pass a school bus that is stopped with the stop arm extended. Video evidence will be sent to the Niagara Regional Police and if there are grounds to support a charge, then the offence will be mailed to the driver’s last known address. 

For the officers that participated in the initiative this year, many of them advised that the majority of the drivers were driving cautiously around the school zones.  This year a total of 97 tickets and warnings were issued.  There were 29 tickets issued for speeding, two for not properly wearing their seatbelts and one for distracted driving.  Three other drivers were charged with driving while under suspension and another two were charged with operating their vehicles with no insurance.  There were also 30 tickets issued for other various traffic offences and a total of 30 written warnings. 

Members of the Niagara Regional Police Service will continue to conduct traffic safety programs in school zones throughout the entire school year, by targeting aggressive and distracted drivers.  The Niagara Regional Police Service wish to remind all drivers to be alert, drive with caution and be aware of their surroundings, especially in the area of schools and other educational facilities.