Drivers, slow down — school zones in the city now start a half-hour earlier.

The city and Calgary police teamed up with the city’s two school districts on Thursday to launch the earlier 7:30 a.m. school zone time just as year-round Catholic school students headed back to class.

“This change will help increase safety for children who attend schools with an early start time and children who are involved with extracurricular activities before school starts,” city director of roads Ryan Jestin said.

Police officers applaud the move and will monitor and enforce speeds in schools zones, though Const. Jim Lebedeff said discretion will be used in August while motorists learn the new rules.

“Public safety is number 1 for us and we think it’s great anytime you can get cars to slow down when children are around,” he said.

Both school boards are celebrating the start times and hope playground zones can follow suit.