Be safe. Go slow.

School’s back! This means excited children will be back out walking and wheeling to school and we need to keep them safe.

This fall, we are reminding drivers to Watch Out, Slow Down, Give Space, Park Smart, and Be Courteous.

As the summer season transitions into the excitement of a new school year, drivers need to prioritize safety, especially near schools where increased activity poses potential risks for both drivers and children.

Be Safe. Drive smart.

Playground Zone Safety

Playground Zones warn motorists to take extra caution and reduce speed when driving near playgrounds and schools. When driving through a playground zone, remember:

  • Children do not perceive traffic like adults do – extra caution is needed.
  • The maximum permitted speed in playground zones is 30 km/h.
  • The zones are in effect from 7:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. every day of the year.
  • You may not pass another vehicle or person cycling within the playground zone during this time. 

Parking around schools

Drive carefully and watch for children. When driving through a playground zone near a school, remember:

  • Traffic congestion near schools is problematic. Consider parking a few blocks away and walking part of the way to school.
  • Do not double park – it is illegal and dangerous.
  • Always park more than 5 metres away from a crosswalk to ensure children can see and be seen by traffic.
  • Do not park in school bus zones.
  • Do not park within 1.5 metres of a driveway, garage, or alley.

School bus safety

Always watch for children in the vicinity of a school bus when it is stopped. Slow down and be prepared to stop.

Amber flashing lights: School buses use flashing amber lights to alert passing motorists that the bus is slowing down and preparing to load or unload children. If you approach a school bus with its amber lights flashing, you may pass with caution. Remember to watch for pedestrians and be prepared to stop.

Red flashing lights: School bus operators are prohibited from using their red flashing lights on most Calgary roads. They are required to use them in rural areas when stopping to load or unload children. If you see a school bus with its red lights flashing, you must stop regardless of your direction of travel, unless you’re on the opposite side of a divided road.

Pathway safety

With school starting in September and the return of more typical commuting volumes, now is a good time to remind kids how to move safely on pathways. 

Everyone using the pathway system, pedestrian and wheeled users alike, can stay safe by:

  • Remaining to the right of the line except to pass
  • Leaving a minimum of one meter between yourself and the person you are passing
  • When approaching from behind, make yourself heard by using your voice to announce “passing on your left”
  • Only pass when there are no oncoming users and never pass on blind corners or in underpasses.

Learn more about pathway bylaws and safety tips.

Tools and Resources