Traffic safety programs
Whether you're walking, biking or driving, The City is committed to keeping Calgarians safe and on the move, both in your community and on Calgary's road network.
By working together, we can improve traffic safety. As responsible drivers, cyclists and pedestrians we can all help drive change.
The high cost of collisions
In Calgary, the societal cost of road collisions adds up to approximately $1.2 billion a year. These costs include medical and first responder costs, property damage and lost productivity.
Working to improve traffic safety
The City is undertaking many initiatives to improve traffic safety. Here are some of the programs and trials we are doing:
- Traffic calming curbs
- Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) at crosswalks
- School zone/Playground zone harmonization
- Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI)
- Adaptive sidewalks
- Automated/video-based conflict analysis (VBCA)
Traffic study of collision near-misses at Calgary intersections
The City of Calgary has been selected as one of five municipalities to be part of the Aviva MicroTraffic grant program which helps municipalities improve road safety outcomes at intersections.
Temporary Traffic Calming Curbs
As part of a Pilot Project, The City is introducing temporary Traffic Calming Curbs (TC Curbs) at various locations with speeding, long crossing distances, poor yielding compliance, complex geometry, and increased risk of collision.
Reducing speed reduces collisions
In Calgary, only 50 per cent of motorists stay within the posted speed limit. We know that reducing driving speeds has a direct correlation to traffic safety.
Research has shown that a 1% increase in speed results in a:
- 2% increase in collisions
- 3% increase in injuries
- 4% increase in fatal collisions
The City of Calgary's Community Speed Watch Program allows citizens to volunteer their time to increase awareness about speed in their communities. This education program is available to citizens in coordination with The City. In communities where speeding is a concern, a Speed Limit Observation and Warning System can make city roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
School/Playground zone safety is everyone's responsibility. Remember to exercise caution and obey posted speed limits to keep kids safe and protected as they make their way to and from school.
Success of fixed-hour playground zones
The City has consolidated school zones and playground zones into a single zone with fixed hours. The new fixed hours reflect the times pedestrians are using playground zones, and give motorists consistent and specific times that are easy to remember.
An independent evaluation led by The University of Calgary found the fixed-hours improved safety in these ways:
- The mean traffic speed in playground zones decreased from 36 km/h to 30 km/h.
- The number of collisions involving pedestrians within the new playground zones decreased by 33%, with a 70% decrease between 5:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
- More than 80% of the respondents found it easier to remember the zone times with single zone type that is consistent throughout the year.
Pedestrian safety - Look out for each other
The City of Calgary, Calgary Police Service, Alberta Health Region, the Alberta Motor Association and other traffic safety partners are working together to reduce the number and severity of pedestrian collisions. Through education, enforcement and engineering strategies, these partners are striving to improve intersection safety in Calgary.
The "Look out for each other" campaign was created to emphasize that road safety on Calgary's streets and sidewalks is the shared responsibility of all of us.
Construction zone safety
During the summer construction season, it's important to be aware of construction zone safety in order to create a safe work environment for the crews repairing and maintaining city streets.
Alberta Stats from Partners in Road Construction Safety:
- Speeders drive on average 8-12 km/hr. over the speed limit in Construction Zones during the summer.
- Road construction zone collisions in Alberta last year: 1,045
- Lives lost in work zones over the past 5 years: 17
- Number of Injuries in work zones over the past 5 years: 955
- 46% of drivers speed through construction zones daily
Cycling continues to grow as a viable year-round transportation and recreation option in Calgary. With more interest in fun, healthy, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly ways to get around, The City has responded by providing safe and convenient places for people to bike on roadways and pathways. We encourage everyone to learn about sharing these public spaces safely, legally and with respect for other users.
Starting September 1, 2019 motorists driving slower than 60km/h will be required by law to leave a minimum of 1 meter when passing someone cycling. When driving faster than 60km/hr the distance increases to least 1.5 metres of space when passing. Failure to leave the minimum safe passing distance may result in a $203 fine as per the new bylaw.
See more information on the safe passing distance and other recent changes to the transportation bylaw.
Calgary safer mobility plan
The Calgary safer mobility plan is a five-year plan aimed at improving the safety of our transportation network. A key target identified in the plan is to achieve a 25 per cent reduction in the number of major injury and fatality collisions.
View the Safer Mobility Plan Annual Report 2020 for the most up-to-date information. To see the entire presentation and council documents, view Item 7.3 on the December 16, 2020 Transportation and Transit Committee agenda.
Starting May 31, 2021 the default unposted 40 km/h speed limit comes into effect. This change will affect the speed limit on both residential and collector roads in neighbourhoods, but there will be no changes to speed limits on higher classification roads (e.g. Deerfoot Trail, Bow Trail, Anderson Road, Memorial Drive) or playground zones.
If you have additional questions or concerns about:
- Sidewalk gaps or missing links that exist in the sidewalk network
- Safe travel for students to and from school (Safe and Active Routes to School program)
- Spot improvements for traffic safety
You can contact 311 or fill out the online form.