School’s back: Police warn motorists to slow down

With most students returning to school on Tuesday, July 18, police are reminding drivers of the importance of abiding by school zone speed limits. 

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command’s Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said the numbers of actions taken by police in school zones declined in the last financial year by 1650 to 14,930. 

“Road safety is our number one priority. Despite the decline in legal actions taken, police will remain on the road, targeting those who have been speeding, double parking, or using phones in school zones,” he said. 

“These are the people who continue to put themselves, their passengers, local school children, parents, siblings, teachers and support staff at great risk in what is a built up, high vehicle and pedestrian area during school hours each day."

Assistant Commissioner Corboy recommended the following road safety advice around school zones:

Dropping off / picking up by car

  • Make sure your children are in an appropriate child car seat that is fitted and used correctly.
  • Stick to the 40km/h speed limit in a school zone as children are about.
  • Look for buses pulling out – watch for flashing wig wag lights.
  • Always park and turn legally around schools.
  • Avoid dangerous manoeuvres such as U-turns and three-point turns.
  • Always give way to pedestrians particularly when entering and leaving driveways.
  • Drop your children off and pick them up on the school side of the road in your school’s designated drop off and pick up area.
  • Calling out to them from across the road is dangerous – they may run to you without checking for traffic.
  • It’s safest for children to get out of the car on the kerb side of the road to be away from passing traffic.
  • Walking together to and from school
  • Plan your trip to school so you use pedestrian crossings where possible.
  • Always hold your child’s hand.
  • Children need your help to spot dangers such as vehicles coming out of driveways.
  • They can also be easily distracted and wander into traffic.
  • Drop off and pick up your child near the school gate and avoid calling them from across the road.

Talk with your children about Stop, Look, Listen and Think every time they cross the road.

  • STOP! one step back from the kerb.
  • LOOK! for traffic to your right, left and right again.
  • LISTEN! for the sounds of approaching traffic.
  • THINK! whether it is safe to cross.

Young children can learn these safe pedestrian habits from you and continue them later on when they are old enough to travel alone.

"School zones are there for a reason, with flashing signage, to keep our children safe." Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

Most school zones operate from 8am to 9.30am and from 2.30pm to 4pm. However, there are a small number of non-standard school zone times in NSW, which are identified by red/orange school zone signs showing the times when school zone flashing lights operate.