22 January 2015 Take Care in School Zones

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22 January 2015 Take Care in School Zones

With schools returning next week, parents and motorists are being reminded to obey the traffic rules in school zones.

“School term officially starts on January 27 – even though it’s a pupil-free day for most schools – the usual school zone restrictions will apply,” said Anne Shearer, Council’s Road Safety and Traffic Officer. “It’s vital that people recognise that the rules are there purely for the safety of the students.


“To keep everyone safe, we’re asking parents dropping off their children, and motorists driving past schools, to please stick to the no parking, no stopping and speed restrictions.”


The 40kph speed restriction -  from 8am-9.30am and 2.30pm-4pm - is particularly important, said Ms Shearer, as driving slowly in school zones allows extra time to respond if a child should run out into the road unexpectedly.


“The severity of a crash is also reduced if vehicles are driving slowly. The likelihood of killing a pedestrian when doing 50kph is double the chance of it happening at 40kph,” she said. “School zone speed limits help by reducing speeds, but it’s also important for parents and carers to park and turn legally around schools and avoid dangerous manoeuvres like U-turns and three-point turns. Children should always be dropped off and picked up safely, even if you have to park further away and walk the extra distance to the gate.


“Illegal parking also puts children at unnecessary risk, as it can obscure the view of motorists and children.”


Drivers are also being reminded of the hefty penalties for committing offences within school zones.


“The minimum fine for speeding in a school zone is $182 and two demerit points. Drivers going over 60km/h through a school zone would cop a minimum $545 fine and five demerit points. Double parking in a school zone or stopping in a bus zone will cost $311 and two demerit points.”


Council’s Rangers have high resolution cameras fitted to their vehicles. These cameras allow them to patrol more areas, more often. For more information on school zone parking offences and penalties, check out the Centre for Road Safety at http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au