It's the first week back to school for students, which means drivers in Saskatoon will have to get used to slowing down in school zones, something drivers in Regina have to do year round.

Saskatoon city council also passed a motion to amend a traffic bylaw to prohibit U-turns in school zones while school is in session.

If drivers violate the new rule, they could be slapped with a $50 fine.

School zone regulations in Saskatoon:

  • No U-turns in school zones
  • Speed limit decreases to 30 km/h
  • Park only in designated areas - no parking areas are marked
  • Stopping or parking prohibited in a school bus loading zone

Meanwhile in Regina, the speed limit decreases to 40 km/h, but it applies year round.

School zones are marked by reflective yellow-green signs located on the side of the road.

Speed vs Safety

How much time does it take?

Yes, driving slower will take more time, but just how much time does it take to cross a 200 metre school zone?

At 30km/h it will take 24s At 40km/h it will take 18s
At 50km/h it will take 15s At 60km/h it will take 12s

Stopping Distances

The faster your vehicle is travelling, the longer it will take to come to a complete stop when the brakes are applied.

At 30km/h, 5 metres
At 40km/h, 9 metres
At 50km/h, 14 metres
At 60km/h, 20 metres

SOURCE: Forensic Dynamics Inc.

These distances do not take into account the time required to perceive and then respond to a given situation. These approximate distances describe the amount of space needed to come to a complete stop after engaging the brakes.

Impact Force

What if you can't stop in time? What if you haven't paid enough attention, and your car has hit someone?

The exact force of a collision will vary depending on the weight of the vehicle, but a collision at a higher speed will deliver exponentially more force than a collision at a lower speed.

Even at 30km/h, a collision can cause severe injury to the head, torso, and limbs, but:

A collision at 40km/h would deliver 70%
more force

A collision at 50km/h would deliver 180%
more force

A collision at 60km/h would deliver 300%
more force