Calgary city council will discuss whether to standardize hours for school and playground zones this week.
A report from city administration — titled Playground/School Zones Safety 2013 — was the subject of a pilot project over the past year aimed at figuring out what would improve driver awareness of entering school and playground zones. Now, administration has suggested the current system is confusing and recommends setting clear rules about when they are in effect.
"We have to realize this is totally a safety issue," said Ward 12 Coun. Shane Keating, who is also a former principal. "In my former career, I would have kids arriving to school before the playground zone kicked in to effect, per se, because the school zone was later."
Currently, school zones are in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., while playground zones are in effect daily from 8:30 a.m. until one hour after sunset, adding up to a difference of five and a half hours over the course of the year.
During the hours they are in effect, speed limits in both zones are 30 km/h.
When they are not in effect, the speed limit is 50 km/h.
The report suggests standardizing the hours of operation from 7:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. for both zones.
The report says someone hit by a vehicle at 50 km/h has a 20 per cent chance of survival while someone hit by a vehicle at 30 km/h has a 90 per cent chance of survival.
It also notes that the 30 km/h speed limit adds five seconds to the time it takes vehicles to drive through a zone, from seven seconds to 12.