City of Vernon transportation demand management coordinator Wendy Majewski announces the launch of a Pace Car program safety initative in Vernon beginning Thursday at Okanagan Landing Elementary School.

City of Vernon transportation demand management coordinator Wendy Majewski announces the launch of a Pace Car program safety initative in Vernon beginning Thursday at Okanagan Landing Elementary School.

Authorities keeping pace with speeders

Vernon is the first B.C. community and one of 10 designated communities awarded a $1,500 grant to launch a Pace Car program

Vernon will set the pace with a new safety intiative.

The city is the first B.C. community and one of 10 designated communities awarded a $1,500 grant to launch a Pace Car program aimed at reducing vehicle speed to prevent crashes and reduce the severity of injuries.

“The Pace Car program is a locally delivered, nationwide program that focuses on raising awareness around speed reduction in the community, especially in school zones and pedestrian-dense areas,” said Wendy Majewski, transportation demand management co-ordinator for the City of Vernon.

The program launches Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at Okanagan Landing Elementary School.

A second Vernon launch is slated for Nov. 5 at Silver Star Elementary School.

The grant comes from Parachute, a national injury-prevention charity.

The Pace Car program is part of Parachute’s child-pedestrian safety program, Walk This Way.

Participants who take part in the strictly volunteer Pace Car program sign a supporter’s pledge and display the official Pace Car window decal on their cars.

“Pace Cars can work to assist in calming traffic throughout a neighbourhood,” said Majewski.

“The more people who participate, the better it works.”

The pledge asks drivers to recognize their car use impacts the livability of other residents’ streets; to drive the posted speed limit on all roads; to let pedestrians cross and be courteous to cyclists and other road users; to minimize car use by using active transportation such as walking or cycling, using transit, car-pooling and combining car trips.

The decal will be displayed on the back of a program participant’s vehicle, and encourages others to take the pledge.

Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky and Coun. Juliette Cunningham will be on hand Thursday to help launch the Pace Car program at Okanagan Landing Elementary.