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Back to school road safety: know the zones!

As kids go back to school, it’s important to remember speed limits for school zones and playground zones.
Children walking with backpacks and school zone sign
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When September rolls around and kids go back to school, it’s important to keep our eyes peeled for more pedestrians. According to ICBC, 86 kids are hurt in school and playground zones each year. For drivers, knowing – and abiding – the speed limits for school zones and playground zones can mean the difference between life and death.  

Why are speed limits so important?

Speed limits aren’t assigned randomly. Much research has been done in the area of vehicle speeds and outcomes in collisions. For example, research shows if hit at 30km/h a person has a 90 per cent chance of surviving. If hit at 50km/h a person has an 80 per cent chance of being killed.

Know the zones

If you see this sign, you’re in a playground zone and the speed limit is 30 km/h every day from dawn to dusk, all year round.















While this sign means you’re in a school zone, and the speed limit is 30 km/h from dawn to dusk on school days, unless otherwise posted.


We can all help keep kids safe by remembering the speed limits for both zones, along with the following:

  • Drivers must always yield to pedestrians, but pedestrians must also obey traffic signals and used marked crosswalks where available.
  • Where no crosswalk is available, pedestrians are reminded to cross intersections corner to corner.
Allow more time for your commute, but it’s also up to drivers to be aware of more pedestrians, especially young children who may not yet be aware of the rules of the road, and haven’t developed the skills to assess the dangers of the road. 
back-to-school; Trauma Services BC
Children's Health
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