Alberta Transportation is working on changing playground and school zones so they begin one hour earlier, at 7:30am as opposed to 8:00am currently for school zones and 8:30am for playground zones. In our previous discussions on the effectiveness of playground zones, many of you expressed frustration towards motorists that went 30 km/h before the start time of the playground zones. Now with these changes working their way through the legislature, we can all slow down.
“It doesn’t make sense to have a playground zone when cars are only slowing down after the bell has rung,” says Laura Shutiak, president of the Calgary Association of Parents and School Councils.
“The big issue has always been morning times, and anything that deals with that is helpful.”
Alberta Transportation Minister Luke Ouelette said his department is looking to standardize both school and playground zones so they both start at 7:30am and end at 5:00pm, leaving the option for municipalities to alter the end times through bylaws. Calgary currently has its Playground zones end 1 hour after sunset, but according to Ald. Ray Jones, chairman of the city’s transportation committee, it may look towards having both Playground and School zones end 1 hour after sunset.
Having both school and playground zones start and end at the same time is great for motorists. If a driver spends any time deciding if a school or playground is active, then they are not focusing on the road and potentially forgetting to slow down. The province will be holding public consultation and information meetings throughout the province before the changes are made.