School zone signage

Learn how Surrey is increasing awareness of 30 km/hr school zones.

We’re Shining a Light on School Zones

School zones can be hectic places, especially during drop-off and pick-up times. Expect the unexpected — when children are excited, rushing and playing in and near school zones.

On quieter roads, school zones almost always have traffic calming, such as speed humps, to remind drivers to slow down and drive with care. But on busy roads, the use of traffic calming devices is generally not allowed.

So, to help draw more attention to 30 km/h school zones on busy roads, we are testing the use of highly visible, fluorescent yellow-green pavement markings. They will contain the word 'SCHOOL' painted on the roadway. The markings will help increase awareness of where the reduced speed limit begins.


We are in the third phase of our School Zone Awareness Project. Phases 1 and 2 investigated a few different treatments to see what works best. Phase 3 involves detailed testing of the ‘SCHOOL’ text pavement marking.

  • Completed
  • Started
  • Pending
Fall 2017 to Summer 2018

Phase 1 - Introduction and Evaluation

Eight Surrey elementary school communities were part of the first phase of this year-long pilot program.

Over the course of the pilot, we conducted traffic studies and surveyed participants to determine the effectiveness of each measure.

Fall 2018

Phase 2 - Program Expansion

The results from Phase 1 were used to determine the effectiveness of each measure and which one worked best.

These results will informed how the program should be expanded to other Surrey school communities.

Spring 2020 - Summer 2022

Detailed Testing

Phase 3 involves detailed testing of the ‘SCHOOL’ text pavement markings. There are four steps in phase 3:

  • Step 1: Baseline Data Collection - Before installing the new markings, we have been collecting traffic data (completed)
  • Step 2: Pavement Marking Installation - The new pavement markings will be installed in Summer 2021 (started)
  • Step 3: After Period Data Collection - In spring 2022, we will collect a second set of traffic data. (pending)
  • Step 4: Evaluation - In summer 2022, we will compare the baseline data to the after period data to determine whether traffic patterns and vehicle speeds have changed. (pending)

Why 30 km/h?

The lower speed limit protects our most vulnerable road users: our children.

The lower speed limits are in place where they are more likely to exhibit unexpected behaviours: within school zones.

30 km/hr speed limits are in effect between 8am to 5pm on school days, unless otherwise posted.

Participants in BCAA School Zone Safety Survey said driver inattention and poor behaviours are putting kids’ safety at risk. 93% of survey respondents reported witnessing speeding in school zones.

Here are some of the important reasons to slow down:

  • Stopping Distance
    • You need more time to stop when you're driving fast. At a slower speed, motorists have better chance to react when children are crossing the road. This could be the difference that saves a life.
  • Survival Rate
    • If a vehicle travelling at 50 kilometres per hour struck a pedestrian, there is only a 15% chance that the pedestrian would survive. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle travelling at 30 kilometres per hour has a 90% chance of survival.
  • Younger and More Vulnerable Pedestrians
    • Children aged 5 to 14 years are at the greatest risk for pedestrian-related deaths. Younger and less experienced pedestrians are more likely to be in a School Zone and more likely to be distracted or forget about safety.

About the Safe and Active Schools Program

Our Safe and Active Schools Program helps keep our school children safe. Through the program we have completed millions of dollars of engineering improvements at hundreds of locations. Changes include pedestrian crossings, sidewalks and pathways, signage projects, traffic calming and other road safety measures.