Blog Community Safety Zones in Ontario

Apr 16, 2024

Creating safer roads: understanding community safety zones

sign displaying 20/km in community safety zones

Community safety zones are nestled amidst Ontario's bustling cities and serene rural expanses. These zones represent a collective commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of residents and visitors.

Although community safety zones have been implemented across the province, a 2019 CAA poll shows that 70% of Canadians witnessed speeding in school zones, which are designated community safety zones.

Let's explore community safety zones, the fines, laws, and insurance impact so you can be a safer driver.

Three main takeaways about community safety zones:

  • Community safety zones in Ontario are designated areas that aim to protect vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, through measures like reduced speed limits and enhanced signage.
  • Under the Highway Traffic Act, municipalities are authorized to establish zones, employ reduced speed limits, implement traffic calming measures, and conduct education campaigns to promote safer road behaviour.
  • Safety zones reduce accidents. Pedestrians can navigate confidently, and families can allow children to walk or cycle.

What’s on this page

What is a community safety zone?
What is the speed limit in a community safety zone?
Community safety zone speed fines
What is the maximum fine for excessive speed in a community safety zone?
Will a community safety zone ticket increase my insurance?
Benefits of community safety zones
4 ways community safety zones are implemented
Ontario communtiy safety zone FAQs

What is a community safety zone?

Community safety zones are specific sections of the road where public safety is a top priority. They are designated areas recognized under provincial legislation and marked with community safety zone signs.

The Highway Traffic Act empowers municipalities to designate particular areas as community safety zones. These zones enhance safety measures and protect vulnerable road users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists. They typically encompass spaces in close proximity to schools, parks, and other locations frequently visited by children and pedestrians. To promote responsible behaviour among motorists, these zones implement reduced speed limits and enhanced penalties for traffic violations.

Fines for traffic violations within the safety zones are doubled, and the use of an automated speed enforcement system is allowed through the applicable sections of Bill 65, Safer School Zones Act, 2017. The legal limits of these zones are marked with signs at the beginning and end and are in effect 24 hours a day unless otherwise posted. The primary objective of establishing these zones is to mitigate the risk of accidents, creating safer environments for everyone.

What is the speed limit in a community safety zone?

Community Safety Zones have different speed limits - paying attention to posted signage in the area is important. some zones will be 40km/hr, while others may be as slow as 20 km/hr.

Community safety zone speed fines

If you drive along any residential areas or a road with schools nearby, you’ve likely seen signs for community safety zones. These areas were designed in 2012 to protect children on their way to school.

All fines in these zones are doubled, including driving over the speed limit and road sign violations. If your ticket would normally be $50, you would see it increase to $100. Fines will increase if you are fined for excessive speed in a community safety zone. Here is an overview of the fines:

  • 1-19km/h over the speed limit is a $5.00/km fine.
  • 20-29km/h over the speed limit is a $7.50/km fine.
  • 30-49km/h over the speed limit is a $12.00/km fine.
  • 50km/h over the speed limit comes with a court-decided fine.