July 21, 2014 10:03 am

Calgary city council debates playground and school zones times

CALGARY – City council members will discuss possible changes to school and playground zones when they meet on Monday.

Currently, school zones in Calgary are in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and playground zones run from 8:30 a.m. until one hour after sunset.

However, proposed changes would have them both start at 7:30 a.m., and continue until 9 p.m.

It’s been suggested the move would better protect children and make things less confusing for drivers.

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“Kids dart out so quickly, and I think you just have to be ready to stop at a moment’s notice,” says mother Kirsten Zimola, who supports the idea. “I think it’s brilliant because I know it’s difficult for some people to remember what times the zones start and end.

“If it’s all the same it leaves less room for error and that makes it safest for our kids.”

Councillor Shane Keating is fully on board with the bylaw.

“I have had former students hit by cars,” says the former principal, adding slowing down can save lives. “It delays drive time, but it increases the survival rate for anyone hit in these zones from 20 per cent to 90 per cent.”

Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act was amended on June 1st to give municipalities the power to change start and end times of playground zones; they already had the authority to change school zones.

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