Calgary police consider photo radar in school and playground zones

CALGARY – Police are considering using photo radar in school and playground zones to encourage speedy drivers to slow down.

“Whatever we can do to slow down people in a playground zone, save lives, save injuries… we’re going to look at it,” says Inspector Ken Thrower with the Calgary Police Service Traffic Section.

Just last month, a 47-year-old woman and a four-year-old boy were hit while crossing the road in a marked crosswalk in Brentwood, in a school zone.

“We want the parents to feel safe that their children can get to school safe,” says Thrower. “And play in a playground zone, knowing that people are going to abide by that, to keep the speed down.”

Currently, the province doesn’t allow permanent photo radar cameras to be installed in residential areas, so the move would require changes be made to Alberta’s Traffic Act.

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“We’re not talking about a cash cow here,” explains Ward 12 Councillor Shane Keating. “We’re talking about safety in school zones. Make sure it’s well signed and let people know they can’t do this for the safety of the kids.”

While the move won’t sit well with some Calgarians, others say it’s about time.

“Even when they’re dropping the kids off in the morning in the buses, you’ll see people speeding,” complains mother Sherri Dahl. “I’ve even seen people go around people that are waiting for the pedestrians [to cross] and they’re just ignoring the signs.”

As of September 1st, 2014 motorists must slow down to 30km/h during these times:

  • Playground zones are in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., every day of the year.
  • School zones are in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., on school days only.

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