Q&A - Failed Exam but no Sign for Playground Zone

Question: Q&A ImageOur daughter failed her road test due to not reducing her speed to 30 km/h as she drove through a playground zone. No signs were present.

What the beginning of a playground zone looks like in BC

The examiner did acknowledge that she did obey the signed school zone.

When she questioned this, the examiner said that regardless of signs, she needed to be aware of her surroundings. He failed her for speeding.

I have not been able to find anything in the Motor Vehicle Act, stipulating a 30 km/h speed limit for roads by playgrounds. I only see laws regarding signage.


There is no automatic legal requirement to slow to 30 km/h in a playground zone unless it is posted with a sign.

School & Playground Zone Rules

Schools and playgrounds

147 (2) A person driving a vehicle on a highway must drive the vehicle at a rate of speed not exceeding 30 km/h when approaching or passing, between dawn and dusk, a public playground for children where signs are displayed stating a speed limit of 30 km/h, or on which the numerals "30" are prominently shown.

There must have been some sort of sign present or it would not have been a playground zone.

Other Speeding Offences

There are requirements in the MVA, such as speed relative to conditions, that require a speed less than the posted limit if appropriate in the circumstances. Failing to slow in a situation where the instructor felt that there was a hazard and slowing was required to remain safe could enter into consideration on a road test.

It is also possible that she exceeded the speed limit that was in place, I'm not sure from your explanation.

Where Did This Happen?

Perhaps you can provide the location of this playground zone and we can go and have a look courtesy of Google Street View?

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... that there was not a PG sign with a speed tab on it - only what her daughter told her, including the conversational exhange with the DE.

Consider this: typically, the various ICBC license offices will have a number of potential 'routes' to follow on different classes of road test. These are designed with the goal being to make each of them as equal in various categories of driving as possible, both from the same license office or from a different one in another jurisdiction in the province.

PG zones are chosen over School zones where possible, for reasons of consistency; much of the year, school is out for summer (or winter) and these holiday times are often coincidental with when teenagers take tests. Whatever route the daughter was on has been used zillions of times by zillions of examiners, apparently without complaint or concern (because otherwise, they would have altered the route appropriately).

I plan to have her take me there and show me the exact location as I'm suspecting there may have been signage somewhere in the area.

The fact that, after doing this, the complainant has never returned to this thread and offered up what she saw to be the case in fact, no doubt speaks volumes.

Y'know, there's a standing joke amongst Driver Examiners. If the Applicant passes the road test, they will happily proclaim that they just passed! They walk back with the DE, pleased with themselves, the DE, and the world in general. But when they fail (which is about half the time) then all of a sudden it's the DE that failed them. He/She walks back alone. And yet, in each case, all the DE ever did was observe what they did and how they did it. Hmmm ...

I plan to have her take me there and show me the exact location as I'm suspecting there may have been signage somewhere in the area.  she may not have driven by the sign, but, as I've discussed with her, she still needs to abide my the road signs.  We shall see!