Warning to drivers in Burnaby: One of the speed limit rules is being expanded
Children walk with their parents to Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver for the first day back-to-school Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
VANCOUVER -- Burnaby is amending its speed limit rules in a way the city says is a first in Metro Vancouver.
The speed limit in school zones is 30 km/h, a rule which previously applied only between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
But the city is opting to extend those hours, meaning the slower speed limit will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on school days.
The city says reducing speed dramatically reduces the likelihood and severity of crashes.
In a news release, staff said research suggests the risk of dying after being hit by a car travelling at 50 km/h is six times higher than when struck by a vehicle at 30 km/h.
"This is about protecting our children and building a community where walking is an easy and safe choice," Mayor Mike Hurley said Friday.
The city says the expanded hours will better reflect when kids are actually at school, taking into account extracurricular activities.
Last year, Vancouver made a similar decision, with council voting to keep school zone hours in effect 24-7.
Additionally, the city plans to install speed bumps near 36 schools and the same number of parks.
The decision follows a request from the city's board of education, and will involve the replacement of about 600 signs.
The speed bumps are expected to be installed by 2026, and residents will be notified in advance of construction.
The city says Mounties will focus on reminding and educating drivers at the beginning, but will start ticketing in April.
And officials in Burnaby are pushing for the province to consider changes as well. The mayor suggested the B.C. government look at implementing a broader approach to traffic calming around schools and parks.