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Coquitlam launches school zone flag campaign
The city of Coquitlam wants to help schools make their parking lots and roads leading to them safer.
This year the city, in cooperation with School District 43, is issuing bright yellow flags that can be affixed to light standards or other poles to remind drivers when school is in session.
"The whole idea is it's different, it catches your eye," explained Coun. Craig Hodge, acting mayor.
When school is not in session, in the evening, weekends or holidays, the flags come down but in the morning on a school day, they go up — a neon-coloured reminder to slow down and watch out for school children.
Dan Mooney, the city's manager of roads and traffic operations, said since the program was rolled out three elementary schools have jumped on board — Meadowbrook, Harbourview and Eagle Ridge. He said it's part of the city's three-pronged attack to promote traffic safety: engineering (designing safer roads and sidewalks), education and enforcement.
PREVENTING TRAFFIC CHAOS
At Meadowbrook, it's not the average driver cruising by but parents who need to be reminded to drive safely in a school zone.
The school, which is host to the Reggio-influenced kindergarten program, has many children ferried to class in cars and parents forget to be safe in the rush to get their kids into school
Sally Maidens said the signs — as well as a public awareness program — should help.
"It will encourage them to be mindful," she said.
Meanwhile, Como Lake and Glen elementary schools have new sidewalks and SD43 and the city are encouraging parents to use them to park and walk their kids to school. Doing so will cut down on the chaos in school driveways, Mooney said.
As well, Coquitlam RCMP will be stepping up traffic patrols during September to make sure drivers follow the rules and city bylaw officers will be out enforcing parking regulations.
Coquitlam schools interested in acquiring the flags should contact Jannette Guarin, traffic technologist, at email@example.com.