School speed zones could be expanded

School speed zone limits in High Prairie coud be changing soon as council begins debate on a new bylaw.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

School zone speed limits in High Prairie may be changing making motorists slow down all day.

At its Jan. 14 meeting, council decided to proceed with a bylaw to change the times citing safety considerations.

Currently, the school zone speed limit is from 8-9:30 a.m., from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and 3-4:30 p.m.

The proposed change will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Council briefly discussed having a 4:30 p.m. limit but decided in favour of a half-hour later.

Councillor Judy Stenhouse favoured the 4:30 p.m. limit and did not like the fact council would initiate the bylaw soon.

“Start it at the start of the school year,” she said.

Councillor Debbie Rose said it was confusing for motorists around Alberta because each municipality seemed to have a different bylaw. Stenhouse quickly agreed.

Councillor Michael Long liked the idea.

“We’re potentially saving a child’s life,” he said.

Mayor Brian Panasiuk said he was not in favour of the change to seven days a week, and to leave summer alone when school is out.

Stenhouse liked the idea of a speed limit all day to avoid confusion.

Limiting speed limits in town on major highways such as Highway 2 is the sole responsibility of Alberta Transportation. When the question arose if they would be in favour of the change, fire chief Trevor Cisaroski, who sits on the High Prairie & Area Traffic Safety Coalition, replied they were.

The coalition wrote council Dec. 17 with the request for the all-day limit.

In its letter, the coalition wrote the provincial standard for school zone enforcement times was put in place in the 1950s when schools were solely for education.

“Today, times have changed and schools operate much more differently, students are either in earlier and/or stay later. We need to update our approach,” wrote coalition chair Harry Davis.

A small financial consideration for council to ponder was they would have to pay for all signs within town limits. The cost was no concern to council.

To each his own

Municipality Time

Edmonton 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Calgary 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Falher 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Grande Prairie 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Vallevyiew 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Whitecourt 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • Source High Prairie and Area Traffic Safety Coalition.

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