News / Edmonton

Committee recommends lowered speed limits near more Edmonton schools

Doctor relates the power speed has in determining injuries in motorist-pedestrian collisions.

Metro file

A committee at city hall voted Monday to expand 30 km/h school zones to junior high schools.

After finding success with a pilot program created in 2014, which reduced speed limits at 233 elementary schools, city administration recommended the community and public services committee update the bylaw to include junior high schools.

Reducing speed limits in school zones is a step in the positive direction, but the city should consider making the speed limit 30 km/h in all residential areas, said Dr. Darren Markland, an intensive care unit physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

Markland has treated several people injured in motor vehicle collisions and has spoken out against Vision Zero, the city's long-term goal to eliminate collision-related injuries, for failing to inspire actual change.

“We know statistically from the trauma data that a collision between a motor vehicle and vulnerable user of the road at 30 km/h is significantly more survivable than at 50 km/h.”

City administration hopes to have the school zones extended to junior high schools by September 2017, pending a nod of approval from council.

Collisions causing injuries to cyclists and pedestrians fell by more than 70 per cent from an average of seven before the change was created in 2014 to just two during the school year in 2015.

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