School Area Speed Limits

City of Peterborough landscape illustration

Drive Slow PTBO

As part of National Safe Driving Week, the City of Peterborough is launching the Drive Slow PTBO campaign.

30 km/h speedometer illustration

This campaign aims to bring awareness to road safety in school areas. Speed limits in school areas are now reduced from 50 kilometers per hour to either 40 kilometers per hour or 30 kilometers per hour in the City of Peterborough. Community Safety Zones have also been introduced on roads fronting elementary and secondary schools.

These measures are in response to best practices for school safety across Ontario, and align with the City of Peterborough's Transportation Master Plan which encourages safer transportation through a combination of engineering measures, targeted education, and enforcement. 

Speeding and safety

Studies have shown that the severity of injuries from collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists is directly related to the speed of the vehicle at impact. Higher speeds decrease driver reaction time and increase vehicle stopping distance. School areas during arrival and dismissal times are often busy with school buses, parents dropping off or picking up children, crossing guards stopping traffic, and children walking and cycling to school. The City is reducing speed limits in school areas and introducing Community Safety Zones in an effort to increase safety for all road users. 
Vertical centerline bollard with school area and 40 kilometers per hour signs
More information can be found in the approved Council Report IPSENG23-014 School Area Speed Limit Reductions and Community Safety Zones.

Map

The location of the new speed limit changes and Community Safety Zones in school areas can be seen using the map linked below. The search function in the map can be used to quickly navigate to individual school areas.

View the map


Frequently Asked Questions

How were streets chosen for new lower speed limits?
Streets were chosen for speed limit reduction based on the following criteria:
  • Streets fronting school property, or;
  • Streets approaching school driveways or entrances, or;
  • Streets with pathways connecting to school properties
Speed limit reductions and Community Safety Zones were applied to roads as follows:
  • Arterial roads were reduced to 40 kilometers per hour and were signed as a Community Safety Zone
  • High-capacity collector roads were reduced to 40 kilometers per hour and were signed as a Community Safety Zone
  • Low-capacity collector roads were reduced to 30 kilometers per hour and were signed as a Community Safety Zone
  • Local roads with school frontage were reduced to 30 kilometers per hour and were signed as a Community Safety Zone
  • Local roads leading to a school driveway or entrance were reduced to 30 kilometers per hour
  • Local roads with walkway access to school properties were reduced to 40 kilometers per hour
Why were some streets reduced to 40 kilometers per hour and other streets to 30 kilometers per hour?
school area sign and forty kilometers an hour speed limit signStreets in school areas were reduced to either 40 kilometers per hour or 30 kilometers per hour based on their classification.
  • Local roads and low capacity collector roads were reduced to 30 kilometers per hour.
  • High capacity collector roads and Arterial roads were reduced to 40 kilometers per hour.
More information about road classification can be found in the City of Peterborough Official Plan Schedule B - Road Network.
What is a Community Safety Zone?
The Highway Traffic Act allows for the designation of an area as a Community Safety Zone if, in Council's opinion, public safety is of special concern on that part of the highway. Community Safety Zones in the City of Peterborough are active at all hours of the day every month of the year. 

A Community Safety Zone is identified by the following sign:

Community Safety Zone - Fines Increased sign

Fines may be increased for traffic violations within a Community Safety Zone.
What is a speed limit area?
Speed limit area signs are used to designate an entire neighbourhood as having a reduced speed limit without having to sign each individual street. 

These areas can be identified by the following blue area signs, which are located at every entry and exit point of the reduced speed area. The speed limit signs associated with the blue area signs apply to all roads within the area unless signed otherwise.

Maximum 40 kilometers per hour speed limit signs with blue area tabs

What other measures are being used to slow vehicle speed in school areas?
Traffic engineering measures can be used to further inform drivers they are entering a school area and there is a need to be alert and slow down. Traffic engineering measures can be implemented using road safety treatments, such as:
  • Pavement markings
  • Road signs
  • Delineators and vertical centerline treatments
  • Electronic driver feedback signs
There are five school areas, one in each ward, where the road safety treatments will be piloted to determine their effectiveness in slowing vehicular traffic, as well as identify any operational or maintenance challenges associated with the treatments. These initial pilot areas are: 
  1. St. Patrick's Catholic Elementary School
  2. Edmison Heights Public School
  3. Ecole Catholique Monseigneur-Jamot
  4. St. Alphonsus Catholic Elementary School and Keith Wightman Public School
  5. Queen Mary Public School
Why did my school not receive additional measures?
Road safety treatments will be rolled out to remaining school areas following the evaluation of the five pilot areas, as funding permits. 
Why are speed limit reductions no longer based on time of day?
Reduced speed limits have previously been used in some school areas specifically during school arrival and dismissal times. These reduced speed limits were only enforceable when the flashing beacons were active.

School areas are often used outside of school times for extracurricular activities, use of sports fields and playgrounds, and other community events. Full time speed limit reductions no longer require flashing beacons and are enforceable at all times of the day. This method currently follows best practices across other Ontario municipalities. 
Can I get reduced speed limits in my neighbourhood?
At this time Traffic Staff are focusing efforts on speed limit reduction in school areas only. Speed limit reductions in other neighbourhoods are being investigated by Transportation Planning as part of a project approved in the 2024 budget. 
How are the new speed limits enforced?
Speed limits are enforced by the Peterborough Police Service. In the future the City may explore automated speed enforcement in Community Safety Zones as an alternative method of enforcement.