As both a member and a parent of school-age children, Cpl. Andrew Frisk has witnessed firsthand many incidents of dangerous driving in school zones.
When the local detachment of Nipawan/Smeaton in F Division began receiving requests for increased patrols in school zones to target speeding and distracted driving, Frisk had an idea.
He remembered seeing school zone signs in the middle of the street in other communities in the province and thought they were a great idea. And when he realized there was a safety issue in his community, his thoughts turned, once again, to those signs.
"I thought, 'Geez, why don't I start doing something about this problem and see what we can come up with', " says Frisk.
He applied for a community grant to get funding for the signs through Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI). He wasn't sure the project would receive funding, let alone enough money to cover all the costs.
"I thought we'd get maybe $500, but they sent a cheque for $1,500," says Frisk. "I was like, 'Holy smokes! That's wonderful.' "
Next, he went to the school principals in town and his staff sergeant and told them what he was planning. Everyone loved the idea.
With support and funding in place, Frisk sourced out the materials and set to work having the signs constructed.
A local trucking company volunteered to fabricate the signs at no cost and another donated the materials. Frisk was able to distribute the signs to the schools before school let out for the year, meeting his goal.
And the result has been amazing. "After we tried enforcement, we were still seeing cars zoom by, and now since the signs have been in place, the cars are just creeping by, so it's absolutely solved our problem," says Trevor Norum, principal of Wagner Elementary School and an auxiliary constable with the Tisdale Detachment.
Frisk is happy with how it all turned out. "I was just looking for something to make the streets safer in front of the schools and the response was more than I ever thought," says Frisk.
Reprinted with permission from the Pony Express (No. 5, 2014).