New school zone speed limits introduced around Edmonton elementary schools

News Release

New school zone speed limits introduced around Edmonton elementary schools

School zones should be safe zones for kids

As of September 2, 2014, school zones 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 new signage is posted. The lower speed limit will improve safety around elementary schools and protect the city’s most vulnerable road users – young children.

Bev Esslinger, Councillor of Ward 2 says “In my previous role with the Edmonton Public School Board and as an Edmonton City Councillor, I have heard very clearly from school administrators, teachers and parents that they don’t feel children are safe around their own schools.  I strongly believe that by reducing the speed limit to 30 km/h throughout the school day, our kids will be better protected.”

“Speed, high traffic volumes and large numbers of young students make for a dangerous and potentially tragic combination around schools,” adds Dave Loken, Councillor for Ward 3.  “Children don’t always understand when it’s safe to cross the street.  By slowing down and paying careful attention, motorists have more time and space to react and can prevent serious injuries or deaths.”

Deputy Chief Brian Simpson with the Edmonton Police Service says “Speeding and careless driving in neighbourhoods continues to be a top concern for citizens and police.  We will be working closely with the City’s Office of Traffic Safety to ensure that drivers adhere to the new speed limits in school zones and are doing their part to keep children safe.”

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.  Crossing at an intersection puts young pedestrians at greatest risk of injury or death.  Due to their size and weight, children who are struck by vehicles often suffer serious or life threatening injuries.

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.

Motorists are reminded to slow down as they approach school zones and pay extra attention to pedestrian and cyclist traffic.  Remember that school zones should be safe zones!

For more information about the new school zones as well as collision statistics, please visitwww.edmonton.ca/why30.

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