The 30 Km/h Zone

Back in September the City of Winnipeg lowered the speed limit from 40 km/h to 30 km/h at 171 school zones. This does not include high schools, post secondary schools, or schools that are on arterial roads. Some people may think that lowering the speed limit by 10 km/h is pointless but the truth is it makes a huge difference for the safety of everyone. Why does it make a difference? Well at 45 km/h a pedestrian getting hit has a 50% chance of dying vs 5% chance of dying at 30 km/h. Not only does this save lives but also lowers congestion and lowers sound pollution by 40%. It also allows more judgment time for a pedestrian to cross the street but also for drivers too enter the roadway with more time. This limit of 30 km/h may be something new to Winnipeg but 30 km/h zone first started as pilot project in 1983 at Buxtehude, just southwest of Hamburg, Germany. Back in Canada cities have been 40 km/h speed zones at schools / parks for the past 20 year or so but just started lowering the speed to 30 km/h in the last few years. Still some places don’t have any lowered speed zones. Many places in Europe are past the point of limiting 30 km/h in just school zones. Paris, France started a city-wide 30 km/h limit on all residential streets and people are pushing for this to be the norm in Europe. New York recently implement a citywide lower speed limit but instead of 30 it’s 40 km/h. Keeping the speed at 30 km/h is good in all ways but that isn’t going to stop everyone from speeding. Some people still drive 50 km/h with an extreme case of a Teen caught driving 100 km/h in 30 zone. I’m sure glad I never had to see someone going that fast (besides the fact near an expressway). Preventing speeders may not be easy thing to do but how our streets are designed can make of difference in reducing the amount of speeders. Remember if the signs aren’t posted, just slow down if needed for the people walking nearby and I hope this gives some better perspective of why a lower speed is so important for a more heathy livable City of Winnipeg. … Notes:

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