09/16/2013 06:29 EDT | Updated 11/16/2013 05:12 EST

Manitoba cities can drop school speed zones under new provincial regulation

WINNIPEG - Speed limits will be going down in Manitoba school zones but Transportation Minister Steve Ashton says it is not an order.

Ashton says a new regulation allows municipalities to put school speed zones in place.

He says the minimum speed limit will be 30 kilometres an hour in most school zones, but where the current limit is 80 kilometres an hour, that can be reduced to 50.

It’s also possible the lowered speed limit may only be in effect during the school day — Ashton says it depends on what the local municipality decides.

Mayor Sam Katz says the earliest school speed zones go down will be October.

As well, it will be up to the city to determine which school zones will see a change. It may not happen at every school.

Luis Escobar, Winnipeg’s manager of transportation for public works, says about 170 schools, mostly those with elementary students, will have speed limits reduced Monday to Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. from September until June.