RSVGPF Traffic department creates safety areas in school zones
Police have implemented several changes in the Richmond Hill area, with some areas previously used by motorists for parking, and vendors for selling, no longer being available for those purposes.
On Monday, the changes created some confusion and standoffs between police officers and motorists with several road users arguing that more discretion should be used in a school zone.
Sergeant Kenny Jones, attached to the Traffic Department of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) told SEARCHLIGHT that his department, headed by Superintendent Kenneth John, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, has decided to create safe zones within and outside school compounds in the Richmond Hill area.
There are five schools in the area: The CW Prescod Primary School, the Thomas Saunders Secondary School, the Kingstown Preparatory School (KPS), the Girls’ High School and the St Vincent Grammar School.
Sergeant Jones said after reviewing the traffic congestion issues inside and outside these school compounds, they have come up with plans to resolve the problem. The St Mary’s Roman Catholic School area at North River Road is also one of the areas being addressed.
The relation to the CW Prescod School, a no parking sign has been placed on the right side of the driveway while the left side has been reserved for staff parking. Sergeant Jones said the decision to place the no parking sign in that area will not only ease congestion on the compound but will also create a safe path for the students.
He said members of the public are not being asked to stay off the compound, but rather to explore the option of dropping off students in the vicinity of Curriculum Unit of the Ministry of Education or the Stoplight Restaurant, as there are always police officers around to assist children who may have to use the pedestrian crossing.
The changes also address parking and drop off around the KPS. Vendors normally set up shop along the school’s fence and sell to students through the fencing. The spaces normally occupied by vendors have been painted with “no parking” and “keep clear” signs.
The vendors are now scattered throughout the area and at least two of them said on Monday that they will comment on the new traffic rules after a few days, when they will be able to assess how sales have fared. The new set up will see vendors having to walk a few feet to sell to the students.
Motorists are no longer allowed to wait in the area outside the KPS, but instead have been given a small window of time during which they are must quickly drop off and pick up students. This is creating some issues.
Other changes aimed at easing congestion see motorists travelling into Kingstown via the Richmond Hill public road now being able to do so by entering the gap at the Girls’ High School and traversing the McKies Hill public road between the hours of 6:30 am – 11:30am and 1:30pm – 3:30pm, then onto White Chapel road and exiting left or right in the vicinity of St Vincent Building and Loan Association.
Motorists exiting Kingstown between 11:30 am -1:30 pm and 3:30pm – 5:30pm are now able to utilize White Chapel road onto McKies Hill public road exiting at the bridge in the vicinity of Girls’ High School.
Further, persons who are desirous of dropping off their children/wards at the GHS are permitted to stop their vehicles on the left hand side of the road at GHS, set down their children/wards, then proceed up McKies Hill public road then onto White Chapel road into Kingstown.
Superintendent John said last week that Traffic Officers will be vigilant and strategically positioned on the roads to ensure that the Traffic Regulations are adhered to and enforced.