School zones now playground zones, so slow down to avoid tickets

Changes to speed zones at Red Deer schools means drivers must obey a 30 km/h speed limit from 8:30 a.m. to one hour after sunset every day.

Dan Kelln watches traffic speed past him on Oleander Drive

Changes to speed zones at Red Deer schools means drivers must obey a 30 km/h speed limit from 8:30 a.m. to one hour after sunset every day.

But on days when schools are in session, drivers must reduce their speed starting at 8 a.m.

This summer, the City of Red Deer began adding playground speed zone signs at schools to upgrade to new Transportation Association of Canada safety guidelines.

“They recommend school zones become school and playground zones so we are in the process of moving across the city and standardizing those,” said Rebecca Clark, a traffic engineer with the city.

School zones require drivers to reduce their speed to 30 km/h only during specific time periods on school days — from 8 to 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Playground zones require drivers to reduce their speed to 30 km/h from 8:30 a.m. to one hour after sunset every day.

“Most people consider it a positive thing,” Clark said on Thursday.

Oriole Park resident Dan Kelln said it’s great. But he wished the city would have warned drivers about the new speed rules.

Kelln noticed the new playground sign at Oriole Park School in late June. He’s been obeying the sign but some drivers behind him have not, causing an angry exchange of words.

It’s dangerous for children, he said.

“I’ve actually been passed on the left and on the right three times in that playground zone in the last month,” Kelln said.

“There’s going to be a kid one day thinking that they’re safe in a playground zone, step off the curb and get run over by someone doing in excess of 30 km/h.”

Clark said it may take two years for the city’s Public Works Department to update all the signs.

Fines under the Traffic Safety Act range from $57 for driving one km over the posted speed limit to $351 for driving 50 km over the posted limit. Driving faster than that means the court will determine the penalty.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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