AMA, Calgary police remind motorists to slow down and watch for kids around schools

Click to play video 'Back to school safety in Calgary' Back to school safety in Calgary
Global News Morning Calgary's Doug Vaessen talks about the importance of driving safely around schools – Sep 4, 2018

It’s back to school this week for Calgary students and police and the Alberta Motor Association (AMA) are reminding motorists of the importance of slowing down around schools.

In a survey by the AMA, 29 per cent of Albertans polled said they speed through playground zones even though they know it’s against the law. But 95 per cent said it’s never acceptable to speed in playground zones.

The city of Calgary used to have two different types of zones — school and playground zones — with different speed rules and hours for both. But in 2015 the city united the two zones under the simpler title of playground zone.

In playground zones, speed is limited to 30 km/h between 7:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. all year round.  There are about 1,680 of these zones in the city.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Over 332 tickets handed out in Calgary playground zones during back to school week

Calgary police enforce speed in these zones, often with photo radar.

“What we’re asking is for motorists, regardless if they have kids that go to the schools here or live in the communities, we just ask everyone to be safe, to be courteous,” Const. Scott Hoard with Calgary police said. “Our No. 1 goal is that all students, young and old, get to and from school back home safe every day.”

Fines for speeding in a playground zone can range from $78 to $474, according to Calgary police.

To help drive home that message, the AMA has deployed its school safety patrol throughout the city — where students help bring their classmates to and from school safely.

“We have the kids stand on the corners…and they use the point, pause and proceed method,” said the AMA’s Lisa Nowlin-Clayton. “Once the cars have stopped, they allow their pedestrians to cross the street.”

Nowlin-Clayton said there are about 7,600 patrollers in the city and about 15,000 in Alberta.

READ MORE: Study on Calgary playground, school zone changes shows less speeding, collisions after harmonization