Amherst Police to focus on school zone speeding

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Pedestrian traffic increases in warmer weather

Amherst Police will be stepping up enforcement of speeds in the town's four school zones.

Amherst Police will be stepping up enforcement of speeds in the town's four school zones.

AMHERST – Amherst Police plan to focus on a school zone enforcement initiative in May that will closely examine speeding in those areas.

The public is reminded that the school zone speed limit is 30 km/h in areas where the approaching limit is 50 km/h.

The reduced speed limit is applicable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year when children are present in the school zone. 

Nova Scotia defines “when children are present” as being: on the highway in the school zone,  or outdoors within 30 metres of the highway in the school zone. 

Exceeding the school zone speed limit by one to 15 km/h will cost motorists two points on their license and a fine of $348.95. 

For speeds of 16 to 30 km/h over will cost three points on their license and a fine of $463.95 while 31 km/h or more will dock four points off a motorist’s license and a fine of $693.95.

Schools zones are designed to slow traffic down so that drivers are able to react to children darting in and out of roadways. 

Amherst has four school zones including Spring Street Academy, West Highlands Elementary, E.B. Chandler Junior High and Amherst Regional High School.

The Amherst Police Department would like to remind all motorists to be especially mindful at this time of year as there tends to be higher pedestrian traffic during the warmer weather.




Organizations: Amherst Police Department, Street Academy

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Another Thought
    May 02, 2014 - 08:07

    "The reduced speed limit is applicable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year when children are present in the school zone." Is that so hard to understand? The school zones in question are not very big, you pass through it going 30km/hr in about 30 seconds, then you're on your way. Calm down people!

  • Yoda
    May 01, 2014 - 22:19

    I must make one more comment about this total fiasco!! I find it so ironic and totally expected that this would be a hidden agenda exercise by our local overstaffed law enforcement group. Pay attention to the sentence very clearly that " one to 15 km/h will cost motorists two points on their license and a fine of $348.95". I doubt very much that the ADN made the conscious effort to hide the fact that if you are (1) Km... say 1.... not (one) over the 30 km speed limit you could be fined $348.95 and lose points on your license but I expect that this was a written blurb from the local Police Depart themselves that attempted to disguise this fact while attempting to "CTA (Cover Their A**) " by alerting the public of their intent to charge people in case there is a court case involved"! One (1) km many of you have cars that are medium or even higher performance (100 plus HP) engines that can raise you 5 to 10 km in a second or so simply by sneezing!!! Now you must drive through school zones either at 10km/ph all the while staring at your speedometer to prevent a bloody safe is that for our kids, that the law is supposedly trying to protect?? This is nothing but a financial grab...pure and simple and the more people that are aware of our local police departments intent the better.

    • Matt
      May 07, 2014 - 09:32

      That's just the way the speed ranges work. Technically it is against the law to go 1 km/h over the speed limit. Does that mean you're going to get pulled over for going 31? No, probably not. But if you go anything that's more than 15, you get fined more and lose more points. It's a speed limit, not a speed recommendation.

  • Robert E.
    May 01, 2014 - 16:25

    Simple, people...dont speed. Anyone who has a problem with slowing down ANYWHERE children gather (schools,playgrounds,sports fields,etc.) must have a screw loose...

  • macpass
    May 01, 2014 - 13:15

    Yea the Greasers must be running out of people to catch on Robert Angus Drive their favourite spot for tickets. Now they hide out part of the way up Rupert street so be careful of both the school zone there and the stop sign at Spring and Rupert Streets.

  • Jack on the Rocks
    May 01, 2014 - 11:49

    Here's my question..i just went through the spot check by West Highland School....I asked"So it's 24-7???"The answer I was given was"When you see a child present".......That tells me it's not 24-7....I'd beat that in court...

  • harold
    May 01, 2014 - 10:25

    Actually the Provincial government creates provincial law like the traffic act and sets the fines not local police. The poor cops are blamed if they do their job and blamed if they don't. Don't speed and you will have no problem.

  • Concerned Mom
    May 01, 2014 - 09:45

    To me this is so unclear, and many people have different interpretations of this law. To me this "when children are present" definition sounds like it is only when the children are outside, on or within 30 meters of the "highway"/street. Or is it always 30 km 24/7, 7 days per week, 365 days per year whether there is school or not? Or is it only during school hours and school events? I really wish a Police Officer would come forth with something more concrete and specific to resolve all of this confusion.

  • Amom
    May 01, 2014 - 09:23

    The speed limit was changed so that it would all be the same in every town, if that is the issue for you, blame New Brunswick they started it. As someone who lives by all three schools and has a son that sometimes walks, I'm glad for the change... It will only be an issue for the people who don't like to follow the rules.....

  • Matt
    May 01, 2014 - 09:08

    I'm glad they're choosing to focus on this. It's always very scary to see children waiting to cross the road outside school, at a crosswalk, and some nut speeds by going even faster than 50 km/h. Sure, you can have your own opinion on whether or not the speed should be 50 or 30, but police should be watching school areas more for incidents like this.

  • Yoda
    April 30, 2014 - 15:48

    Well Doug, pretty well sums it all up!! A donut and coffee cash cow! We have 28 or 29 of these mobile speed traps roaming around the streets, but we can't catch an individual who knocks someone down in a main area of our town and robs them, or breaks into down town businesses on the main drag, or vandalizes town property.....oh wait they got to get out of their shiny new cruisers and run after the perp...nope not going to happen. Oh well the local detachment has to make money somehow to pay all these benefits! I wonder what our police to population ratio is for Amherst as compared to other tows across Canada our size. I'd like to know where this information is available. Until then townies ..avoid the school zones!

    • K
      May 01, 2014 - 06:58

      Wait untill they suck us dry like they did in springhill.......bring in the rcmp !

  • Doug.P
    April 30, 2014 - 15:29

    What absolute nonsense! These laws are specifically crafted to allow police officers a direct method to collect their paychecks. There is no warrant for these "school zone" speed limits at all. It is a disgrace in this day and age that any miniscule threat can be turned into such a cash cow for "law enforcement". Whats more is they unilaterally made these laws all at their own whim, incidentally right at a time when their budgets are being squeezed. I will say this as clear as I can: these laws are frivolous self interest laws passed for the direct profit of local town police coffers, child safety is simply the clever but false justification for its existence and acceptance. Why not apply this law wherever children are playing regardless of school or not? Why not make a speed zone around every child's home or playground? The proper term for this is legal plunder, plain and simple. School speed zones will simply become target rich zones for roadside bandits.