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Back to School Time 2022


A new school year means that  it’s that time of year again when we have to be more aware around schools. Do you think you know the risks around school zones, read on and see. The following are some safety tips to help keep drivers and pedestrians safe this school year:

As Drivers we can expect an increase in:

  • Congestion – an increase in vehicles during the morning and afternoon commutes
  • School Buses – picking up and dropping off students
  • Pedestrians – students walking to and from schools and  bus stops
  • Bicyclists –an increase in cyclists traveling to and from school           


Remember that In Calgary, school zones are playground zones, every day of the week from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Also, school zones are areas with extremely high vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Playground zones will be in effect 365 days a year and school zones will be effective on school days only. Decals have been placed on all school zone and playground zone signage in Calgary and the speed limit under ideal conditions in school zones and playground zones across Alberta is 30 km/h.


Driving Tips in School Zones and Playground Zones

  1. Reduce your speed. Be more cautious in residential areas where children are present. Respect speed limits in school zones and playground zones.
  2. Slow down when approaching school buses. Buses have big blind spots and could be loading and unloading children. Stop for school buses displaying the flashing red lights.
  3. Obey school patrollers and crossing guards.
  4. Never pass/ overtake other vehicles within a playground zone or school zone and never pass another vehicle slowing down near a crosswalk area.
  5. Give cyclists a wide berth (a minimum clearance  of one meter of space between your vehicle and the “outermost edge of the bicycle,” meaning the handlebars. If you’re on a road with a speed limit above 60 kmph, one and a half meters of distance is required).
  6. Always check mirrors and shoulder check before opening your vehicle door.
  7. Leave extra time to reach your destination and know your route in advance to determine drop off, pick-up, no stopping, and parking zones.
  8. Park a couple of blocks away to avoid traffic congestion and safely walk the rest of the way with your children.
  9. Never park illegally. Help your children be on time for pick-ups, while waiting in a safe place that’s well back from the edge of the road.
  10. Ground-view for hazards. Scan between parked vehicles, avoid bus zones, and don’t stop or make U-turns near crosswalks.
  11. Be alert. Eliminate distracted driving. Put down that coffee cup or phone and keep your eyes on the road.


  1. Always stop, look both ways, listen and think before safely crossing the street.
  2. Never run out in traffic or between parked vehicles or buses.
  3. Plan a walking route to school with your children. Be sure to point out crosswalks, stop signs, traffic lights, and family or friends’ homes.
  4. Remember to avoid distractions like electronic devise, keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings.
  5. Walk on the sidewalk and cross at street corners with traffic lights or at a crosswalk.
  6. Make eye contact with the drivers before proceeding into the intersection.
  7. Pay attention to  School Safety Patrollers and follow their instructions.

Final Reminders If You're Dropping Off Students:

  1. Never double park; it blocks visibility for other children and other road users.
  2. Never load or unload children across the street from the school, forcing the student to jaywalk.
  3. If possible, carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school.
  4. Let children out away from traffic. Usually, that is the passenger side of the vehicle.


For more driver tips on how to raise awareness, why not book a 2 hour brush up lesson.