Since speeding is one of the major causes of frequent and severe traffic accidents around school and playground areas, many jurisdictions have reduced the speed limits in these areas to protect children who may be at risk. This paper investigated the speed compliance, mean speed and 85th percentile speed at selected school and playground zones in the City of Calgary in Alberta. Our results showed that the mean speed was lower and the rate of compliance was higher in the school zone compared to the playground zone, 2 lane roads relative to 4 lane roads, roads with fencing, traffic control devices and the presence of speed display device or children, and zones that were longer (> 200 m). Accordingly, this study provided recommendations to improve the effectiveness of school and playground zone speed limits. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.