Wolf Creek wants change to school zones on highways

Wolf Creek Public Schools is rallying support to change the current school zone times on all provincial highways.

  • Dec. 2, 2009 11:00 a.m.

By Jasmine Franklin

Wolf Creek Public Schools is rallying support to change the current school zone times on all provincial highways.

“If everyone starts to write letters and bring the issue to the attention of the minister of Infrastructure and Transportation they will see it’s important,” said Larry Jacobs, superintendent of Wolf Creek Schools. “We are requesting this to protect children.”

The request is simple: change the allocated school zone times to a blanket 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on school days for all schools located on all provincial highways. Currently the times are from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on school days.

“The current times are confusing for a lot of people,” Jacobs said. “With all the specification, not everyone is aware of the time frames and even though they are detailed on school zone signs, it’s written very small.”

But the process isn’t that simple. Since the change is being lobbied for all schools located on provincial highways, it’s not within municipal jurisdiction. All the board can do is rally and gain support to get the message across to the minister.

Charlie Cutforth, chief administrative officer of Ponoka County, is on board with the proposed speed zone time changes and will fully support the board by writing a letter to the minister.

“We absolutely support this,” Cutforth said.

In the Ponoka area, Mecca Glen and Crestomere schools are located on Highway 53. Principal Penny Mueller of Crestomere School agrees with the proposed changes.

“We are literally right on the highway. There is a lot of traffic and any parent or child is at risk,” Mueller said. “The extra 30 minutes in the morning and stable time period would allow for entrances and exits to the school for parents, students and busses to be alot safer.”

A letter sent from the Wolf Creek board to both the county and the town outlines the proposal would both eliminate confusion for drivers as well as ensure safety for students who are outside the school at times other than the current times in effect.

“It’s just time,” said Lorrie Jess, Wolf Creek board chair. “By the time some people realize they’re in a school zone, they are through it.”