September 13, 2017 8:15 pm
Updated: September 13, 2017 10:33 pm

School zone safety debated at Regina’s executive committee

Now, more on a story we brought you yesterday. Traffic safety is top of mind for many drivers as kids are back at school, and it was front and centre at city council's Executive Committee this afternoon. Jules Knox has the details.

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School zone speed zones won’t be changing in Regina anytime soon.

A city committee has been looking at school zone safety and speeds for the last year but more work still needs to be done.

“The mandate of the first committee has run its course. They really can’t talk about budget implications and engineering design, that’s not the competency of the committee itself,” Mayor Michael Fougere said. “What we’re going to do now in short order is to strike a committee that will actually come back with recommendations.”

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The new committee will be able to consider budget implications and design, something the old one couldn’t, Fougere said.

“The committee that we originally had was quite a broad committee. It had lots of representatives from even like parents groups to different interest, like folks that were responsible for transportation at the schools, and it just didn’t have necessarily the right members,” Karen Gasmo, Regina’s transportation and utilities executive director, said.

Many jurisdictions have a speed limit of 30 km/h in school zones instead of 40 km/h, which is what Regina has.

READ MORE: Regina’s school speed zones: Should they be lowered?

The committee supports a lower speed but said more statistical analysis still needs to be done. It also said in its report it couldn’t reach a consensus on changing school zone hours.

The new committee will involve many of the same stakeholders, such as SGI and the school boards, Fougere said.

“Whether it’s the same people, I don’t know that.”

The committee is expected report back with recommendations before next summer.

Fougere hopes any changes will be in place before next September but said it depends on what’s recommended.

“We have already been doing some things to make it safer. I think this will just up it, and it will make it better for schools and people, but only if it’s enforced,” Coun. Barbara Young said. “The enforcement costs money, so some things have to be in budgets.”

“If we have signs up to show how fast people are driving through zones to try to change habits, there’s a cost to that,” she said.

Coun. Andrew Stevens said he wanted to see a review sooner rather than later, but it’s important that due diligence is invested in the process.

“This isn’t just about changing speed limits,” Stevens said. “We need to take time to consult with community groups that are invested in this and also to make decisions that are lasting and effective.”

“I’m prepared to wait and do this right rather than rush it through.”

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