Drivers don't expect to get a traffic ticket from someone far too young to get behind the wheel of a car.
But on Tuesday, students at three Langley elementary schools gave out hand-written warning tickets to drivers, urging them to be careful in school zones.
The "Think Of Me" campaign, created by Langley RCMP's community officers along with ICBC, saw uniformed Mounties pulling over drivers who were going too fast, using cellphones, or not wearing seatbelts near James Kennedy, Willoughby, and Belmont Elementary schools.
Const. Wally Lee, a community liaison officer, was doing much of the traffic stopping. After nine years with the RCMP's traffic services, he has an eye for when people are exceeding the 30 km school zone speed.
At James Kennedy, Lee or another officer would wave over a car, and speak briefly to the driver.
If they were in a fairly cooperative mood, the officers would then call over a student to give the driver one of their tickets.
The tickets are warnings only, but their hand-written messages remind drivers to be extra careful in school zones.
Emma Rolfson, a Grade 5 student at James Kennedy, said she was having fun after handing over a ticket to one driver.
"And they said thank you," Rolfson said.
Isabelle Sehdev, also in Grade 5, said it was a fun thing to do.
"Because people shouldn't really speed, because people could get hurt," Sehdev said.
Lee said it's good to remind drivers that students could come out of a school at any time, particularly during the hours of school zone speeds, but not just at the start and end of classes.
Students head out for lunch and recess, they go out for field trips, or for gym class, yet Lee said in his experience drivers speed up a bit if they don't see any students outside.
This is the first time that Langley RCMP have officially done a "Think Of Me" campaign, although it may have happened unofficially in the past once, and it has been tried in other Lower Mainland communities, said Const. Craig van Herk.
Langley MLA and transportation minister Mary Polak stopped to check out the initiative Tuesday afternoon at James Kennedy.
"What more powerful way to get out the message," Polak said.
The key thing for adults to remember is that children don't make the same decisions as adults, and drivers have to make more time to react, she said.
@ Copyright 2013