BLC passes first reading to daylong school zones

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Times for school zones in Big Lakes County may soon extend to a full school day.

At its regular meeting Feb. 26, council gave first reading to a bylaw to expand the time for school zones from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on school days.

Council was requested to change the time by High Prairie School Division at its regular meeting Jan. 22.

Current school zones in High Prairie and the county are in effect during school days from 8-9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3-4:30 p.m.

A public hearing will be scheduled at a later date.

School zones in the county are located in Grouard, Joussard and Kinuso.

Big Lakes received a further letter dated Jan. 28 from Joyce Dvornek, who chairs HPSD board.

“High Prairie School Division is agreeable to the recommendation to implement the all-day school zone from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,” Dvornek writes.

“We appreciate your speedy reply to our request and your collaboration in keeping our students safe, before, during and after school hours.”

A letter from HPSD dated Jan. 6 asked the county to change all school zones in effect to daylong. HPSD initially requested a time from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We believe consolidating the school zones into one daylong time increases the safety of our children and lessens uncertainty for commuters,” Dvornek says.

At its regular meeting Dec. 18, the HPSD board supported a request from the High Prairie and Area Traffic Safety Coalition to change the school zone times to all day from intermittent.

The coalition requested division support in its endeavour to change the current school zones times in Slave Lake, High Prairie, and Big Lakes County from its current format to a full-day format.

Motorists must not drive more than 30 km/hr when school zones are in effect.

Other northern communities have various times for school zone speed limits.

Falher is in effect from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Valleyview is in effect from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Grande Prairie school zones run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Whitecourt school zones are in effect from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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