July 23rd, 2024

Motorists reminded school zones remain in effect throughout the summer

By Justin Sibbet - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on July 3, 2024.

Herald photo by Justin Sibbet School zones were harmonized with playground zones last year and signs like this one at a south side school on Thursday afternoon are in place across the city reminding residents to stick to the posted speed limit year-round.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDjsibbet@lethbridgeherald.com

While the summer holidays have now officially begun for most Lethbridge students, school zones remain in place for the entire year.

Following the passing of a bylaw change last September, school zones and playground zones are now one in the same. As a result, drivers are reminded to keep to the speed limit while driving past a school this summer.

Lethbridge Police Service sergeant, Danny Lomness, who oversees the traffic unit, says residents should remember this zone harmonization is permanent.

“These aren’t school zones anymore, these are playground zones,” said Lomness. “The reduced speed is still in effect.”

He says this is primarily for the safety of children as they can still be playing near schools, public parks or even their front yards during their summer holidays. However, he says it is also for the safety of other members of the community as well.

“You are going to see an increased (number) of kids and pedestrians… using outside facilities because it is nicer (outside).”

Furthermore, he says residents should always give themselves enough time while travelling to avoid feeling the need for speed.

“We want people to be aware of their surroundings, slow down, give yourself some time,” said Lomness.

Overall, he says residents have been receptive to the harmonization of zones, having had time to digest the changes.

“It’s been just under a year of that change, that’s a long time for people to get used to the new system,” said Lomness. “People are definitely more aware than they were last summer.”

Chris DiPasquale from Slow Your Roll says it’s also important for parents to speak with their children about road safety because everybody has a role to play in staying safe.

“(Parents need to remind) their kids, hey look out for drivers,” said DiPasquale. “They’re just as responsible for their safety as the drivers are for them. It’s a collaborative effort of both the kids and the drivers to keep everyone safe at all times.”

DiPasquale says parents, grandparents or anyone else who wishes to help remind drivers to pay attention while in child-friendly neighbourhoods, can get a Slow Your Roll sign from their website, with the revenue going to a charitable cause.

“The proceeds go to help the Charles McIntyre Fund.”

Lomness also reminds residents how costly speeding can be, with tickets generally ranging between $100 to $500 in school zones.

“Slow down and ultimately make our roads and city a little safer,” said Lomness.

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how about making all residential streets 30 all the time. makes it safer for all, and allows for safer cycling throughout more of the city.
reduce mayor magrath south to 50, and have all other non-residential routes at 50 max, but keeping for highways such as crowsnest and whoop up drive linking the west and south as they are.

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