What is a Regular School Day?

school zone signA visitor to this website remarked that the term "school days" in relation to school zone signs is becoming more and more ambiguous. The Motor Vehicle Act merely refers to "A person driving a vehicle on a regular school day" and I no longer know what a regular school day is, particularly since I don't have kids in school and when I am in an unfamiliar area of the province..

For example, some school districts take a 2 week spring break, others only one, some schools are going with shorter summer vacations and what about ProD days? Some private schools have different schedules. It used to be much more uniform date-wise

Perhaps a change to school zone signs to display flashing lights on school days and reading 30 km /hr when lights flashing. These could be programmable so human error in forgetting to turn on the sign could be reduced.


Schools and playgrounds

147 (1) A person driving a vehicle on a regular school day and on a highway where signs are displayed stating a speed limit of 30 km/h, or on which the numerals "30" are prominently shown, must drive at a rate of speed not exceeding 30 km/h while approaching or passing the school building and school grounds to which the signs relate, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., or subject to subsection

(1.1), between any extended times that are stated on the signs. (1.1) Extended times under subsection (1) may not begin later than 8 a.m. or end earlier than 5 p.m.

The School Calendar

The courts have decided that a regular school day is any day that the school calendar says that school is in session. This includes Pro D days. That used to be relatively simple as the province set the school calendar, it was available on line and it applied to all schools in BC. Some time ago this authority was delegated to the individual school districts and can now vary across the province.

Finding a School Calendar

School districts publish their calendars on line. To find one, simply search the school district number and the words school calendar.

If You Don't Know

Safe to say, if you are driving through a school zone between the beginning of September and the end of June, not on a Saturday, Sunday or statutory holiday, it would be best to follow the instructions on the school zone sign unless you are certain of the school calendar for that area.

Yes it 's not clear.Some elementary schools make it very clear by putting out signs with volunteers by cross walks at the start and end of  the school day .This would be a good idea -everywhere-a great reminder.

I was ecouraged to see that a cyclist was ticketed for speeding in a school zone ,apparently passing cars slowing to 30K ,on the right. The cyclist is reported to have protested vigourously about the ticket, but it's about time that some of these privileged people also followed the laws of the road . A bicycle can do some damage to a pedestrian -especially a child.

Then there was the mother smoking pot in her car after letting her kids off for school-chilling out after a long summer. It wasn't clear if she was speeding or just weeding.

In reply to by Phil (not verified)

Then there was the mother smoking pot in her car after letting her kids off for school-chilling out after a long summer. It wasn't clear if she was speeding or just weeding.

It's kind of off-topic for this Thread, but there would be a good chance of being charged under the Criminal Code, whilst also receiving 10 Demerit Points per MVA(R) Division 28.

14 Section 253 (a)   Operation of motor vehicle while ability impaired by alcohol or drugs

I think the most outrageous example of disregard for children's safety I ever saw was back when I was working as a Driver Examiner, conducting a Road Test.

The Applicant, quite correctly, was obeying the 30 km/h Playground Zone adjacent to an Elementary School.

The Parent, frustrated by our slow pace, accelerated furiously past, then pulled over to the curb 40 metres ahead to drop off her kid at the school.

Some people shouldn't be parents. Some people shouldn't be drivers. Sometimes, they're the same people, you know?

Perhaps the 30kph limit should be year round so that all drivers are conditioned to the reduced   speed. What would also help to educate drivers would be a large sign at every school zone :


It's worth noting here, that while School Zones are typically in effect on days when school is regularly held, jurisdictions such as the City of Vancouver will add 'Summer School in Session' boards to their School Zones, where applicable.

From my own point of view, it's no hardship to obey the School Zone limits when the signs are there, any time.

I don't mean to be flippant, but if you're familiar with using Google Earth, Street View, then take a drive northbound along Trafalgar Street past Trafalgar Elementary, from the intersection of Oliver Crescent. The plethora of signage is mind boggling.

Once the School Zone is over, it then becomes a Playground Zone, so the same speed limit applies, even more of the time. But continue further, and you'll realize that after a number of speed bumps that you wouldn't want to try and drive faster over anyway, and as you seek the back of the sign on the other side of the road indicating the end of said Playground Zone, it's very difficult to identify; the Traffic Engineers have placed identical (from the back) signs on the other side of the road; one is the diamond shaped yellow Playground with the regulatory speed tab underneath, the other is the Speed Hump warning sign facing the oncoming traffic.

Chances are though that you won't even have realized that you had entered the Playground zone, as all the new trees they have planted pretty much obscure that one. Bucolic? Maybe. Useful? Not so much. Drivers should have a clear idea of what's going on ahead, and that's why all of these devices exist.