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April 2015  - Speed

Page history last edited by Corinne Hansen 5 years, 7 months ago

April 2015 - Speed

(from the Alberta Saferoads Communications Tool Kit)


I. Key Messages


The following key messages can be used to support the Speed Communication Campaign:

  • Speed limits save lives every day – maybe today it’s yours.
  • The faster you go, the longer it takes to stop. The faster you drive, the harder you hit.
  • By the time you realize you’re going too fast, it may be too late.
  • Speeding saves little time.
  • This is about getting to your destination safely.
  • When you slow down, you increase the safety of you and your passengers as well as other motorists on the road.

 II. Fact Sheet


Driving a few km/h over the posted speed limit:

    • Reduces your ability to steer safely around curves or objects on the road.
    • Decreases your field of vision and your peripheral vision.
    • Extends the distance required to stop your vehicle in emergency situations.
    • Reduces your ability to obey traffic control devices such as red lights and stop signs.
    • Increases the chance that you will lose control of your vehicle.
    • Reduces the effectiveness of seatbelts and other safety devices such as airbags and side impact beams.
    • Increases the probability of death or injury if there is a crash.
    • Reduces the effectiveness of roadside hardware such as barriers, crash cushions and bridge rails.


Speed limit in school and playground zones:

    • The speed limit in both urban and rural school zones is 30 km/h and is in effect on school days from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. unless other times are posted by the municipality.
    • The speed limit in a playground zone is 30 km/h and is in effect from 8:30 a.m. to one hour after sunset.
    • A vehicle is not permitted to pass another vehicle travelling in the same direction in either school or playground zones during the times these zones are in effect.


Emergency vehicles and construction zones:

    • Motorists must slow to 60 km/h, or less if the posted speed is lower, when passing emergency vehicles or tow trucks stopped with their lights flashing. Fines for speeding in these areas will be double the regular amount.
    • If there are two or more traffic lanes in the same direction as the emergency vehicle or tow truck, passing vehicles need only slow down in the lane immediately beside the stopped emergency vehicle. Vehicles travelling in other lanes, including oncoming lanes, may maintain their speed but should proceed with caution.
    • Emergency vehicles include fire, police, ambulance, tow trucks, and a vehicle used by a gas disconnection unit of a public utility or a designated emergency response unit.
    •  In construction zones, motorists must observe the posted speed. When workers are present, fines for speeding in these areas will be doubled. This is where workers are on or near the road, operating heavy equipment, directing traffic, or using hand tools within the construction zone. Drivers need to look out for workers who are behind construction equipment and less visible. 

 III. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


  • What percentage of fatal crashes involve speeding?

Almost three out of every ten fatal crashes, or 27%, involve driving at a speed unsafe for the prevailing road conditions.



  • What does the maximum speed limit mean?

Posted speed limits are the maximum speeds permitted if conditions are favourable.



  • What can you do? 
    • Obey all posted speed limits on roads as well as in school zones and playground areas, construction zones, and when passing emergency vehicles.
    • Use common sense—slow down in bad weather, at night, and when driving on poorly lit roads.
    • Slow down on unfamiliar roads.



  • What are the demerits for speeding?
    • Speeding / exceeding limit by more than 50 km/h (mandatory court appearance required) 6 points
    • Speeding / exceeding limit by more than 30 km/h but not more than 50 km/h 4 points
    • Speeding / unreasonable rate 4 points
    • Speeding / exceeding limit by more than 15 km/h but not more than 30 km/h 3 points
    • Speeding / exceeding limit by up to 15 km/h 2 points



  • How many demerit points can a driver lose before their licence is automatically suspended?

Anyone who accumulates 15 or more demerit points in a two-year period will have their licence automatically suspended for one month. At eight demerits, the motorist will receive a courtesy notice. When a driver under the Graduated Driver Licensing program accumulates four or more, but less than eight points, they receive a courtesy notice of point standing. When an accumulation of eight or more points occurs within a two-year period, a Graduated Driver’s licence will be automatically suspended for one month.



  • Is it more acceptable to speed if you are an experienced driver?

No. Speeding increases the distance necessary to stop a vehicle. In fact, just a small increase in speed greatly increases the amount of room you will need to stop. For example, at 110 km/h, a vehicle in proper working order takes 126 metres to stop, while at 50 km/h a vehicle can stop in 37 metres. Driving too fast doesn't allow drivers enough time to react to traffic signals such as red lights or stop signs, or other potential hazards that may be present, like children darting into traffic.



  • What is the speed limit at a crosswalk with flashing lights?

If the lights are flashing at a crosswalk, the maximum speed is 30 km/h, even if the pedestrian has finished crossing the road. As long as the lights are flashing, drivers must slow down.



  • What are the rules for driving through a construction zone?

When driving through a construction zone, motorists must observe the posted speed limit. When workers are present, the fines for speeding in these areas are doubled.



  • Why should a driver slow down for construction zones when there is no work being done?

Even if it seems there is no activity in a construction zone, there may be other less obvious hazards such as loose gravel chips and uneven pavement that can be dangerous and cause damage to vehicles travelling at high speeds.



  • Where can I find more information about speeding?

Visit http://www.saferoads.com/communication/communication-print-resources.html




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