Edmonton’s default speed limit moves to 40 km/h on Aug. 6

Most residential and downtown streets in Edmonton, including parts of Whyte Avenue and Jasper Avenue, will have a new speed limit of 40 km/h starting Friday, August 6, 2021.

“This change will make our streets calmer, quieter and safer,” said Jessica Lamarre, Director of Safe Mobility for the City of Edmonton. 

“This small adjustment will have large benefits for making our streets safer and our communities more livable,” said Lamarre. “It will also help us reach our goal of Vision Zero—zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries by 2032 in Edmonton.” 

Jessica Lamarre, the City of Edmonton’s Director of Safe Mobility, at news conference in King Edward Park, July 9, 2021.

The change means the speed limit will be 40 km/h on all roads where you do not see a speed limit sign.

The new 40-km/h limit applies only to most residential and downtown streets. Major roads in the city keep their current speed limits, so there will be only a little impact on overall travel times, said Lamarre. 

The pedestrian survival rate is higher in collisions at 40 km/h compared to 50 km/h.

Why 40?

40 km/h will save lives.

Slower speeds give drivers more time to react, brake and avoid a collision. Slowing down also increases a driver’s field of vision so they can see more, sooner.  

Edmonton Police Service Insp. Keith Johnson said the numbers make the case for the 40 km/h limit—in all seasons.

“If you’re doing 40 km on today’s roads, nice and dry, 40 km versus 50 km, stopping, it’s five metres, it’s a car length, and on a playground, one car length can mean everything,” said Johnson at the news conference in King Edward Park.

“Icy roads—14 metres, three car lengths,” he said. “So, in regards to our supporting 40 km in these residential and highly congested areas, yes, we do support them based on that math alone.” 

Edmonton Police Service Insp. Keith Johnson at new 40 km/h default speed limit news conference, July 9, 2021.

Grace period

From August 6 to 31, an automated enforcement grace period will be in effect where drivers observed speeding on a street with a new 40 km/h speed limit will receive a warning in the mail instead of a ticket. 

Automated enforcement ticketing on 40 km/h roads will begin on September 1, 2021. 

As well, Edmonton Police Service (EPS) officers will provide educational information to drivers along streets with the new 40 km/h default speed limit. EPS will continue to issue tickets in cases where speeding is excessive and impacts public safety.

 Lawn signs are available. Check out edmonton.ca/SafeSpeeds

Those cool lawn signs 

Those Vision Zero signs at the news conference? Yes, you can get them for your lawns through the Safe Speeds toolkit section at edmonton.ca/SafeSpeeds.

Whyte Avenue, Jasper Avenue

The new speed limit will apply to Whyte Avenue between 99 Street and 109 Street, and to Jasper Avenue between 97 Street and 125 Street.

About 200 new 40-km/h speed limit signs will be installed across the city.  Many have already been put up and will have bags over them until August 6.

To find out what roads around you will be 40 km/h, check out the interactive map

For automobile drivers, there is more space needed to brake at 50 km/h compared to 40 km/h.

Money grab?

At the news conference, Lamarre said no when asked by a news reporter if she expected automated enforcement in the new 40 km/h era will lead to a lot of extra cash in fines. 

“Absolutely not,” Lamarre said. 

“I actually think that most Edmontonians are already following a 40 km/h speed limit in residential areas, so, I don’t expect huge jumps from this.” 

Due to a moratorium in place by the Government of Alberta, no new automated enforcement locations can be established at this time. Automated enforcement will only occur in locations that have previously been active throughout Edmonton. These locations can be explored through the City of Edmonton’s Open Data Portal.

Thank you for being part of the change

Show your support. 

Tell friends, family and neighbours about the safety benefits of the 40 km/h speed limit. Get a lawn sign, share on social media, check out the Estimated Time of Arrival Tool or browse through educational resources at edmonton.ca/SafeSpeeds to get started.