YORKTON - It’s an oft heard lament in a country where winter seems to often to be the only season we have, but where has the summer gone.
In only a couple of weeks we will be turning our calendars to September and that means two things, harvest will be in full swing, and children will be headed back to school.
For those of us who are neither farmer, nor student, it is also the time we need to take a little extra care.
If we head out onto rural roads we need to be extra aware that farm machinery – very large machinery in many cases – will be on the roads more often than normal.
It’s not exactly the most convenient if you are stuck behind a slow moving massive piece of machinery on roads which are not so wide that passing is always safe to do, but we need to be patient in such cases. Farmers have a job to do at this time of year taking in the crops which are both their livelihood and what feeds people, and while slowing down can seem frustrating, for the safety we need to remain cautious on rural roads at harvest time.
In the city, it’s time for some added caution too.
Even over the few short weeks of summer it’s easy to forget that when students are headed to and from school, as drivers we need to just be a little more defensive in our driving to make sure those students are as safe as possible.
This fall in Yorkton drivers also have to remember to ease off the gas in school zones a little more than usual as lower school zone speed limits are coming into effect.
With the exception of the Gladstone North High School zone, there will now be a speed limit of 30 km/hr – the high school zone remaining at 40 km/hr. The speed limits will be in effect from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Since data brought to Yorkton Council when the decision was taken to lower school zone speed limits suggested when struck by vehicle going 30 km/hr the pedestrian survival rate is 90 per cent whereas when struck by vehicle going 40 km/hr the survival rate is 70-75 per cent, the move by Yorkton Council was a wise one.
But, the reduction only works if we remember to slow down.
Wisely, school zones now have highly visible speed signs that let drivers know if they are going to fast, and that should help remind us to ease off the gas a bit more moving forward.
They say, with good reason, our children are our most valuable resource, and a little less speed to help make sure they remain safe is in that context no inconvenience at all.