News / Edmonton

Slow down for students: new 30 km/h speed limit at junior high schools takes effect Tuesday

Pedestrian advocates say the change will make commutes safer

City council voted in May to lower the speed limit at junior high schools, from speeds that were typically posted at 50 km/h.

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City council voted in May to lower the speed limit at junior high schools, from speeds that were typically posted at 50 km/h.

It’s time to slow down.

Edmonton’s new 30 km/h speed limit for junior high school zones comes into effect Tuesday morning as most students return to class for the fall.

The lower limit will affect 43 schools, and will require motorists to slow down between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays or risk a ticket.

City council voted in May to lower the speed limit at junior high schools, from speeds that were typically posted at 50 km/h, after city data showed the 30 km/h zones in elementary schools lowered the risk of injuries.

Conrad Nobert, executive director of pedestrian advocacy group Paths for People, said the change will make life safer for students.

“Junior high students, like all of us, aren’t perfect. And if we want to make it safe for them to walk to school, the answer is to make the system in which they’re moving safer,” he said. “And reducing speeds does that.”

Alberta RCMP sent out a reminder Friday for drivers, parents and pedestrians to exercise extra caution Tuesday as larger traffic volume is expected.

In a press release, RCMP advised drivers to familiarize themselves with school zones in their area, and parents to show their kids a safe route to school.

They also urged drivers and pedestrians to avoid distractions on their commutes.

Coun. Bev Esslinger, who spearheaded the campaign to lower school zone speed limits, said in May that the next phase could include implementing the 30 km/h maximum near playgrounds and high schools.

Nobert said he would also like to see it rolled out in all residential neighbourhoods.

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