A 17-year-old Ballenas student was struck by a vehicle while using a crosswalk on her first day back to school Wednesday at approximately 2.15 p.m., according to Oceanside RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman.
Foreman said the female sustained minor injuries from the accident.
“She got minor bruising on her right side but she didn’t need to go to the hospital — she was actually able to walk home,” he said. “She was definitely struck down and hit the pavement but it could have been a lot worse.”
Foreman said the driver was not speeding, however, the driver was issued a $167 traffic violation ticket for failing to yield to a pedestrian on a cross walk.
While this incident was not related to speeding, Foreman said it serves as a good reminder that school is back in session meaning school zones are now in effect after a prolonged summer holiday.
Foreman said police officers in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area can’t keep up with how many speeding tickets they are issuing to drivers in school zones.
“Despite all the news coverage and all the buzz (around school being back in session in B.C.) people just aren’t acknowledging school zones,” he said.
Traffic violation tickets in school zones range from $196 to $368. A person’s vehicle may also be impounded for one week if the driver is speeding in excess of 41 kilometres per hour in a marked school zone.
Four elementary schools closed this year in School District 69 making their school zones derelict, however, Foreman reminds drivers that Winchelsea Elementary has been converted to PASS/Woodwinds Alternate School so a school zone is still in effect for that area.
Parksville Elementary, French Creek Community School and Qualicum Beach Elementary School (on Primrose Street) have all been shut down. School zones are no longer in effect in the aforementioned areas.
Foreman said the speed limit in a school zone is 30 kilometres per hour, Monday to Friday when school is in session, typically from 7 a.m. (sometimes 8 a.m.) to 5 p.m.
“Normally we still have quite a bit of light when school starts in September but seeing as this year we have a late start we are running into light issues already,” he said. “Some students are riding their bikes or walking to school and just getting back into a routine.” Foreman said people need to “drive slow and be patient.”