As of September 2, 2014, a new school zone speed limit will come into effect around elementary schools throughout Edmonton. Motorists will be required by law to slow down to 30 km/h between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on school days where the new signage is posted.
Speed, high traffic volumes, and large numbers of young children make for a dangerous and potentially tragic combination around schools. Children don’t always understand when it’s safe to cross the street, so by slowing down and paying careful attention, motorists have more time and space to react, thereby preventing serious injuries or deaths. The lower speed limit is expected to improve safety around elementary schools and protect the city’s most vulnerable road users.
Children aged 10 to 14 years have the highest incidence of pedestrian-related injuries, with children aged five to 14 years being at the greatest risk for pedestrian-related deaths. The most common child pedestrian action that results in injury or death is crossing at an intersection, followed by running onto the road. Simply by virtue of their size and weight, children who are struck by vehicles often suffer injuries that result in life threatening or permanent damage.
For the most part, these are preventable collisions. Under ideal conditions, a vehicle travelling at 50 km/h needs 24 to 28 metres to come to a complete stop, while a vehicle travelling at 30 km/h only needs 11 to 13 metres to stop. When the roads are wet or icy, vehicles need five extra metres at 30 km/h and 10 extra metres at 50 km/h in order to stop safely. More significantly, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle travelling 30 km/h has a 95 per cent survival rate, however at 50 km/h the survival rate drops to 45 per cent.
Be sure to slow down as you approach school zones and pay extra attention to pedestrian and cyclist traffic. Remember that school zones should be safe zones!
For more information on the new school zones as well as collision statistics, please visitwww.edmonton.ca/why30.
Also to note, failing to reduce your speed when approaching a school bus from the front/rear/passenger side when the amber lights are flashing could lead to a $345.00 penalty.
If you have any complaints about parking or traffic offences please contact police at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone.