Swift Current City Council, at their regular Council Meeting held on Monday, July 29th, approved a Motion to amend the School Zone and Active Playground Zone Traffic Bylaw to enhance safety in and around schools and playgrounds.
The approved amendments to the Bylaw state that, between the hours of 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM, seven days per week, all motor vehicles traveling within School and Playground Zones will obey a speed limit of 30 km/h and will be prohibited from making U-Turns. The updated Bylaw will go into effect prior to the start of the new school year in September.
The goal of the amended Bylaw is to enhance safety for children in areas of the community that they are frequently present.
Reduced speed limit:
- Forensic Dynamics indicates that in ideal conditions, a vehicle’s stopping distance is 5.0m when travelling at 30 km/h, while it is 9.0m when travelling at 40 km/h.
- Studies indicate that young children often believe that motor vehicles can stop instantly.
- Young children tend to think that if they can see a vehicle, the driver of that vehicle can see them.
- Young children are generally not able to accurately judge vehicle speed or distance.
- Collisions involving young pedestrians and vehicles often result in significant injury and even death.
- According to the Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, reducing vehicular speed from 40 km/h to 30 km/h reveals that “fatal and injury collisions were significantly reduced by 45.3% and injuries to vulnerable road users were reduced by 55.3%.”
- The prohibition of U-Turns in school and playground zones is designed to maximize visibility, both for drivers and pedestrians.
- It is difficult for young pedestrians to anticipate a vehicle’s change in direction when a driver is performing a U-Turn.
- Blind spots also change for drivers as they perform U-Turns, making it difficult for the driver to see young pedestrians who may be running or playing in the area.
Traffic signs indicating the reduced speed limit will begin to be installed in the affected areas of Swift Current throughout August, giving motorists some time to become accustomed to the changes, which will become official on September 1st, 2019.
Signs indicating a speed limit of 50 km/h will also be placed beyond the school and playground zones, alerting motorists that they have exited these areas and can return to their normal rate of speed.
Please remember this simple equation when driving in school/playground zones:
- SUBTRACT 10 CLICKS FROM YOUR SPEED
- ADD 10 SECONDS TO YOUR COMMUTE
- SUBTRACT U-TURNS
- THE RESULT IS A SAFER COMMUNITY FOR OUR KIDS
View all of the impacted zones on the map below...