10-year-old successfully convinces city to expand school zone

A presentation by 10-year-old Boston Tait in the spring has paid dividends, with Estevan city council agreeing to his request to lower the speed limit on his street, near Pleasantdale School.

Tait lives on Victory Road, a few doors down from the school, but far enough that the school zone does not extend to his part of the street. It includes the one-block-long Cardinal Avenue, but not Victory Road.

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As a result, on May 29 Tait asked the Estevan police board to consider decreasing the speed limit on Victory Road and expand the Pleasantdale school zone to include that street. That would result in a speed limit of 30 kilometres per hour instead of the current 50 kilometres per hour.

“It took a lot of courage for a young lad like that to come before the board,” Estevan Police Chief Paul Ladouceur told city council on Monday.

Tait’s request went from the police board to the traffic control committee on June 6, where it got unanimous support. It then went back to the police board on June 20 before coming before city council on Aug. 12.

In his initial presentation in May, Tait said, “I love playing basketball and hockey on my driveway with my friends. Sometimes the ball goes on the road and it is unsafe. People are going like 50 (kilometres per hour), which is the speed limit, but it’s too fast.”

He explained that his house is just two buildings away from the school, and that’s where people don’t even start to slow down for the school zone yet.

Tait also noted that there are a lot of children living on that street and he started a petition, which a lot of people already signed. He forwarded the collected letters to the city clerk Judy Pilloud. Tait also suggested some possible measures that can be taken.

“All school zones in Estevan should be expanded. People are going 60, then getting to the school zone and then slowing down to 30. So at the beginning of the school zone, they are going 40. There should be licence plate readers at the edge of the Estevan school zones. This will help, because people are not wanting to pay a fine, so they will start going slow in school zones,” said Tait in May to the police board.

There was no discussion by council, which unanimously supported the measure. After the council meeting, Mayor Roy Ludwig said he expected the new speed limit to be in place before the start of the new school year.

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