Catholic Division recommends City amend bylaws to reduce school zone speeds to 30 km/hr

Herald file photo.

The Prince Albert Catholic School Division board of education has thrown its weight behind a recommendation to have the speed limit in all local school zones reduced to 30 km/hr.

The decision comes as Prince Albert’s Public Works Department continues a review of traffic speed and safety in all school zones. The department has asked school zones for their input as part of the review.

Education director Lorel Trumier said the recommendation to reduce speeds made sense, especially after a similar endorsement from the Prince Albert Board of Police Commissioners.

“Obviously, they were feeling that it makes sense to our school division—both our staff and our board members—that safety in school zones is always a priority,” Trumier explained. “If there are things that the city can do to support that, we would welcome any strategies that they want to discuss or engage in. We are happy that we had the opportunity to give feedback to support that.”

The school board voted in favour of the endorsement at their regular meeting on Monday.

On June 22, the Board of Police Commissioners stated in a letter to the City of Prince Albert that they were ‘deeply concerned with the potential of vehicle pedestrian accidents’. The Board requested that the Council consider amending City bylaws to restrict school zone speeds to 30 kilometres per hour.

The report shows three schools in the Catholic Division where drivers are not required to reduce speeds. These include 15th Avenue East along Ecole Holy Cross and St. John Community School and Sixth Avenue West along Ecole St. Anne.

“We know that nobody wants to hurt children intentionally and this will be a way to perhaps draw some more attention to the School Zones,” Trumier explained. “We do have staff and students that cross there in those locations at different times of the day.”

The City of Prince Albert assesses all school zones using the Transportation Association of Canada and School Zone and Area Study Matrix.

Trumier said amending traffic bylaws to reduce speeds wouldn’t be out of step with what other Canadian cities are doing.

“It would be well within the norm of procedures for those particular areas for the size of school, the distance the school is to the roadway, the designation of the road itself and how it is situated in the city,” she said.