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Saskatoon school zones back in effect beginning next week

For immediate release: August 30, 2018 - 2:41pm
TU18-499

The City is reminding drivers that school zones are back in effect beginning next week. School zones are marked around all public and private schools (elementary and secondary), Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., from September to June. Drivers are required to reduce their speeds to a maximum of 30 kilometres per hour (km/h).

“There is a very direct relationship between vehicle speed and severity of injury,” says David LeBoutillier, Acting Engineering Manager with the City’s Transportation Division. “The 30 kilometre per hour limit we’ve set is not arbitrary and it’s definitely not excessive. We have a lot of data that shows us speed is the determinant factor when it comes to a vehicle-child collision.”

According to the World Health Organization’s speed management manual, the following are a child’s chances of surviving a collision when a driver is travelling at:

  • 60 km/h: there is a 0% chance of a child surviving the collision.
  • 50 km/h: there is a 20% chance of a child surviving the collision.
  • 40 km/h: there is a 60% chance of a child surviving the collision.
  • 30 km/h: there is a 90% chance of a child surviving the collision.

School zone compliance is enforced by the Saskatoon Police Service. Members of the SPS rotate through school zones around the city on a daily basis as well as respond to reports of non-compliance.

“Every September, at the start of the school year, we ask motorists to re-adjust their driving habits around schools,” says Staff Sergeant Patrick Barbar of the SPS Traffic Unit. “This means being very deliberate about looking for and obeying school zone signage.”

The SPS will be focusing extra attention on school zones beginning next week. Tickets for speeding in a school zone are double the base amount plus double the amount per kilometer over the limit. School zone fines are generally in the range of $400-500 and they can go as high as $1,000. A driver travelling through a school zone at 60 km/h or more will also have their vehicle impounded.

The City also wants to remind Saskatoon drivers that u-turns are restricted in school zones. If a driver is performing a u-turn, children who are walking, running and playing in the area may not anticipate the change in direction. Similarly, the blind spots change for drivers performing the u-turn and they may not be able to see what is happening behind their vehicle.

This fall, there is only one new school zone in effect: St. Frances Cree Bilingual School on Bateman Crescent in Greystone Heights. More information about school zones in Saskatoon is available at saskatoon.ca/SchoolZones.