Traffic tips

Our traffic safety focus for the month of September is back to school safety.

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 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 walk to school.
  • Do not double park – it is illegal and dangerous.
  • Do not park within 5 metres of 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 metre 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.

Remind kids to look out for garbage trucks

Taking care around the garbage truck is important for your safety, your family’s safety and the safety of our drivers. When you see a garbage truck coming down your street/alley, make sure to Stop. Watch. Stay Away.

  • Stay clear of the street/sidewalk when the truck is near.
  • Make sure the driver can see you. The trucks are very high which makes it hard for the driver to see you below on the sidewalk. Don’t ride your bicycle or skateboard near the truck and make eye contact with the driver when you are crossing the street or alley.
  • Many of our trucks have an automated arm on the side of it to pick up carts – stay at least 10 metres away when the arm is in operation. This is equivalent to the length of two garbage trucks.
  • While it may appear that our trucks are stopped, the arm or other equipment could begin moving at any time.
  • When driving, be aware the trucks make wide right turns. Always give a large truck enough space to turn. Never pass a collections truck on the right side as that is where the collection arm could be out collecting carts. 
  • Don’t stand behind the garbage truck or climb on it. The beeping sound you hear means that a truck will be backing up and you need to stay out of the way.
  • Don’t play in or around carts, community recycling depots and commercial dumpsters. It’s not safe and besides, they’re filled with garbage!