September 3 marks the beginning of a new school year and across the province, approximately 190,000 Pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 students are heading back to the classrooms.
These students aren’t the only ones learning something new this school year, Regina drivers will have to learn to follow a new rule when driving through school zones.
The limit will be enforced from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 7 days a week.
Speeding tickets in school zones comes with an expensive fine. The penalty of exceeding the speed limit by over 20 km/hr is a $310 ticket plus three demerits.
The 30 km/h recommendation is based on research that indicated there is a “substantial increase to the survival rates for pedestrians struck at this lower speed compared with 40 km/h,” according to CAA.
Marilyn Embury-Miller, vice-principal of Judge Bryant School, supports this decision.
“We have all kinds of parks and the school playground where kids are active, busy and sometimes not paying attention. If cars are going 30 km/h, your reaction time is a lot quicker to stop than it is at 40 km/h,” she said.
According to Regina Public Schools, your commute will now only take four seconds longer with the new limit.
The City of Regina said on social media that “adding four seconds to your drive only takes as long as pouring a cup of coffee,” adding, “Keep our kids safe.”
According to SGI, over the past decade (2009-2018), there have been 18 injuries resulting from collisions in Saskatchewan school zones.
In 2018, there were 23 collisions in school zones in the province, resulting in 2 injuries. Both of those injuries were school-aged children.
Shawn Davidson, president of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association, said “zero accidents for the school zone would be the goal.”
According to a CAA national poll from Aug. 14 to Aug. 19 of this year, when asked what contributes to unsafe behaviours in school zones, 59 per cent of respondents said that parents/guardians are in a hurry or are too rushed.
Forty-four per cent said the school zone is too congested, and 42 per cent said that parents/guardians are not following the drop-off or pickup procedures.
Ninety-two per cent of parents surveyed, said that they noticed one or more bad driving behaviours by motorists compared to 86 per cent reported in 2017, the last time CAA polled on this topic.
Driving over the speed limit was the top reported behaviour with a result of 70 per cent in 2019, followed by 52 per cent seeing others illegally park or stop in a school zone.
CAA reminds parents and children to be aware of their surroundings, be patient, and plan ahead.
WATCH: (Feb. 13, 2019) City of Regina looking at school zone changes