Playground Zones in British Columbia – Driver’s Guide

Playground Zones in British Columbia

Playground zones in British Columbia are in effect from dawn to dusk, every single day of the year. The playground zone sign is in the shape of a diamond. This is in contrast to the school zone signs, which are in a shape that more resembles a house.

playground zones in British Columbia
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Playground zone in British Columbia

What Is A Playground Zone in BC?

A playground zone in BC is a 30 km/hr speed zone where there may be children nearby. By law, drivers must not exceed 30 km/hr during playground zone hours. The playground hours are simply from dawn till dusk, every day of the year.

  • Playground zone signs are found around places where there may be children playing
  • They are in the shape of a diamond
  • They are in effect from dawn till dusk, every day, 365 days per year

Playground Zone Sign

playground zone sign BC
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Playground zone in British Columbia

Playground Zone Sign Without Speed Limit

Technically speaking, the playground sign without a speed tab isn’t a playground zone. It’s a “Playground Nearby” sign. Since there is no speed limit attached to the sign, the speed limit on the road you’re on doesn’t change.

Don’t overthink this whole thing: it literally means, “Hey you, there’s a playground nearby, and there might be children and stuff nearby, so please make sure to pay attention to the road like for real. Thank you kindly.”

Just be on the lookout for kids and slow down if you think you should.

Playground zone sign BC
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School & Playground Zones FAQ

If Playground Zones Are In Effect Dawn Till Dusk – How Do I Know If It’s Dusk? Sometimes It Is Getting Dark, But I’m Not Sure If It’s Dusk

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What is Dusk? Think Of Dusk as “Almost Dark”

Dusk may be defined as partial darkness between day and night; the dark part of twilight.

Since there’s no sign telling us when exactly it is officially ‘dusk’ we must use judgment. If you aren’t sure, err on the side of caution, or go 40 km/hr. Yes, I just said that. Any reasonable human being driving 40 km/hr makes a compelling argument that this is an appropriate speed for a grey area.

  • Consider the consequences of driving 30 km/hr vs. those of driving faster
  • Consider also the visibility in the playground zone and the presence (or obvious lack) of children

Reference & Related

Carmen Cohoe

Carmen became a driving instructor in beautiful North Vancouver at the age of 22 due to some crazy people who agreed to hire her. After that, there was never a dull moment teaching many different folks from many different places how to drive using automatic and standard vehicles and a minivan.

4 thoughts on “Playground Zones in British Columbia – Driver’s Guide

  • Don

    I think you are out of the situation of the ICBC road test nowadays.
    Without the speed limit sign below the school zone/playground signs, if you drive below 45km/h, you will be failed.
    I just failed 2 times in Vancouver Point Grey ICBC only because of drove too slow on the roads with only the school/playground signs.

  • Carrie

    A question, if there is NO playground sign but you are passing an area that has signage saying “Brentwood Park” or similar, do you need to legally slow to 30km or should you just drive with the same caution as a playground zone with no speed tag?
    My daughter took her road test and the instructor failed her for going 40km through what he called a park zone but when we went back there are no signs. It’s a 4 lane road where drivers go on average 60km, not even the 50km standard speed

    • Carmen Cohoe

      No, legally drivers are to simply observe and obey speed signs. There are many parks, playground, and school areas where the speed limit is still 50 km/hr or more. I would bring this up with the ICBC manager at the location of the road test. What road is this?

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