Police to keep eye out for violations in school zones

By John Branton, Columbian Staff Reporter

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With students heading back for lots more homework, books and teachers’ dirty looks, the Vancouver Police Department’s Traffic Unit will be watching for motorists who drive unsafely in school zones.

And, besides the traditional safety violations such as exceeding the 20 mph speed limit in school zones, officers will be checking for newer ones such as texting while driving or talking on a cellphone without a hands-free device, according to a VPD bulletin.

Officers also will be on alert for seat-belt, child-restraint and bicycle helmet violations at both Vancouver and Evergreen public schools. Kids using roller skates, in-line skates, skateboards and scooters also should wear helmets.

The bulletin also contains the risk of being killed when hit by a car at different speeds:

Vehicle Speed Fatality Risk

14 mph 5%

21 mph 10%

25 mph 25%

28 mph 58%

30 mph 75%

35 mph 99%

For more information on traffic safety or the Vancouver police Traffic Unit visit the Vancouver Police Department online at http://www.vanpolice.org or see some Vancouver traffic-safety public service announcements on YouTube at http://bit.ly/nF3vaf.

John Branton: 360-735-4513; http://twitter.com/col_cops; john.branton@columbian.com.