Do You Really Know the Rules about School Zones?
2017-04-21 10:56 PDT
File # 2017-School Zones
If you spend any time at all driving around Langley, you will likely have to drive through a school zone or a playground zone. Do you know the difference? What does this mean to you as a driver?
Playground and School Zones are scattered throughout the Langleys and are often raised as a concern to Police when it appears children aren’t safe.
Let’s start with the similarities between School & Playground zones:
- You are not permitted to pass or attempt to pass another vehicle travelling in the same direction within the zone, when the zone is in effect.
- The zone begins when you see the posted speed limit and sign.
- The zone ends when you see the back of the sign on the other side of the road.
Now for the differences:
- Hours in effect
- A school zone is in effect from 8:00 until 5:00 each day school is in session.
- A playground zone is in effect from dawn until dusk every day.
One particular area of concern is the playground zone on 36th Avenue. This 30 km/h zone is a full kilometer long so it might be easy to think,
Oh, I must be through it by now, when in reality, you need to continue at 30 km/h until you see the back of the sign at the other end.
Langley RCMP officers and volunteers have been spending some time doing both education and enforcement in the school zones on 48th Avenue (Langley Christian Schools).
What most motorists don’t know is there are two school speed zones in the area which are split apart by only 50 – 75 meters. So what happens is the driver thinks he has ‘cleared’ the school zone, when they are just about to enter into a second one. Children from kindergarten through grade 12 attend these two schools and can be near the roadway at any time throughout the day.
Volunteers from Langley RCMP Speed watch have set up in the area to educate drivers on the speed and officers have attended to conduct enforcement. Over a period of two days, over 40 speeding tickets were served. Seems crazy, right?
The last thing to remember is not all schools have a designated school zone. You may see a school sign without a speed designation underneath and this is to advise motorists there may be children in the area during school hours so drive with extra caution.
Here are some additional fun facts about school zones:
Did you know:
- The posted speed limit in school zones is 30 km/h and it is applicable on school days between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., unless the sign says otherwise.
- The posted speed limit in playground zones is 30 km/h from dawn to dusk, every day of the year, not just on school days.
- Until children are about eight years of age, it is difficult for them to assess whether a vehicle is moving or not. So drivers must watch for children walking on medians, roadways and curbs, and be cautious when approaching intersections.
- Children also assume cars stop instantly, and they do not have the ability to estimate whether there is enough time for them to cross the road.
• When children see an approaching car, they first notice the colour of the vehicle — not how fast the vehicle is travelling.
- It takes a vehicle 13 meters to come to a complete stop when driving 30 km/h, but 27 meters — more than double that distance — when driving 50 km/h.
- By law, drivers are required to have their lights on between a half hour after sunset and a half hour before sunrise, or whenever they cannot see clearly due to weather conditions. That said, it is recommended to drive with your headlights on at all times.
- The painted yellow curb lines that prohibit parking in front of a school are there for a reason: to ensure that drivers' vision and their ability to spot children on the sidewalk or roadway is not impeded.
Cpl. Holly LargyMedia Relations Officer
Langley RCMP Detachment - "Connected with our Community"
22180 - 48A Avenue, Langley, BC V3A 8B7
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