September 4, 2014 4:20 pm

Safety improvements for Saskatoon school zones

Flashing light program expanded to another Saskatoon school zone located on a high traffic street.

Brent McGillvray / Global News

SASKATOON – City officials are urging drivers to slow down in Saskatoon school zones as a pilot flashing light program has been expanded to another school.

The speed limit in school zones is 30 km/h, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Sept. 1 to June 30.

Jay Magus, the city’s engineering manager, said slowing down through a school zone adds only 12 seconds to a trip and could save a life.

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“The speed limit is designed to give drivers time to react and brake in an emergency; those 12 seconds could prevent a collision or fatality,” said Magus.

“It’s important to plan ahead and allow extra time to get where you’re going.”

According to SGI, hitting a child while going 10 km/h over the limit increases the risk of serious injury by 50 per cent. Those going 20 km/h over the limit might not even have a chance to hit the brakes before hitting a child.

In 2013, 387 drivers were fined for speeding through Saskatoon school zones. There were also 95 collisions resulting in 14 injuries.

A pilot project introduced in June in a Clarence Avenue school zone is being expanded to include 33rd Street West adjacent to Ecole Henry Kelsey School.

There is also a new school zone on 20th Street West between Avenue M and O, an extension of the existing zone near St. Mary’s Wellness and Education Centre.

“Many of us feel rushed on our commutes, particularly in the mornings, but everyone can spare 12 seconds,” added Magus.

Along with the reduced limits, u-turns are prohibited in school zones, parking is allowed in designated areas only and stopping or parking in a school bus loading zone is not allowed.

Watch below: Saskatoon school zones safety and speed limits

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