School Zone Safety

School zone sign. Speed limit is reduced to 30 km per hour when children are present.
School zone sign. Speed limit is reduced to 50 km per hour when children are present.

School Zone Tips for Drivers:

  • Follow school zone speed limits whenever children are present. This always applies, not just during school hours.
  • Be prepared to stop for a school bus at any time. 
  • Remember to stop whenever you approach a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing, regardless of the direction of travel or which lane the bus is in. 
  • Give yourself extra time during your morning commute.
  • Always watch for pedestrians. There are more kids walking, riding, and getting dropped off in school zones. 
  • Always obey crossing guards.
  • Avoid distractions while driving.

Tips for Student Drop Off:

  • When planning your school commute consider walking, rolling, scootering, cycling, or taking Halifax Transit. 
  • Be cautious in areas where you are stopping to drop off or pick up children.
  • Understand and follow all parking and stopping signage:
    • No Parking – The "No Parking" symbol is less restrictive. You may stop in a "No Parking" zone as long as you are actively loading/unloading. Someone must remain with the vehicle at all times if stopped in a No Parking zone.
    • No Stopping - The "No Stopping" symbol is the most restrictive parking regulation. Once a vehicle has ceased moving, even if it is occupied, it is deemed stopped. No Stopping zones are all off limits to unauthorized vehicles. If you choose to stop in any of these zones, you can be ticketed and towed.
    No parking sign image
    No stopping sign image
    • Stay clear of:
      • Driveways 
      • Crosswalks 
      • Bus stops 
      • Fire lanes

    Every year, Parking Enforcement receives a high volume of calls regarding parking in school zones. Parking illegally and disregarding posted signage can lead to safety hazards and traffic congestion. When picking up or dropping off, watch for No Parking and No Stopping signs and ensure to stay clear of crosswalks, bus stops, fire lanes, and driveways. Parking Enforcement continues to patrol school zones across the municipality, and we ask that motorists do their part by being aware of, and abiding by, all posted signage. We all play a part in being a good neighbour and together, we can ensure our school zones are safe for everyone.

    Speed Humps in School Zones

    In 2020 HRM started installing speed humps within school zones in residential areas.  The project started with selecting streets from the Traffic Calming Ranked List (link) and has expanded to a review of all school zones within HRM.  We will continue this initiative until all applicable school zones are complete.

    Applicable school zone streets are:

    • Classified as Local or Minor Collector
    • Have a posted speed limit not greater than 50 km/h
    • Have grades less than 8%
    • Owned by HRM

    School Zone Pilot Projects

    There are several school zones within HRM that do not meet the above criteria and are therefore inappropriate for speed humps.  HRM will be piloting three non-intrusive measures to bring greater awareness to school zones where physical measures can’t be used:

    • Speed Display Signs
    • Amber Flashing Beacons
    • On road pavement markings 

    The results of the pilot project will inform broader use of these measures in school zones.