With the new school year kicking off this week, Council is reminding motorists that school speed zones are back in operation.
“With the majority of Highland schools back this week, it’s important to remember that school speed zones are also back in force,” said Council’s Road Safety Officer, Melanie Lausz.
“Drivers should be aware that not only do pedestrian movements increase around schools, but children in particular can be unpredictable and difficult to see,” she said.
“Our advice is to always take extra care and slow down around school areas.”
Drivers who exceed the speed limit by more than 10km in a school zone can receive a minimum $346 fine plus lose four demerit points. Learners and P1 drivers exceeding the limit automatically incur five demerit points and will have their licence suspended for three months.
“Fines however shouldn’t be the incentive to slow down around schools,” Ms Lausz added. “The potential consequences of speeding far outweigh any ticket.”
School zones can be identified by roadside signage, flashing safety lights or ‘dragon’s teeth’ road markings.
Ms Lausz also reminded motorists of parking restrictions.
“A No Parking sign means you can only stop for a maximum of two minutes to drop off or pick up children,” she said. “But the driver must stay within three metres of the car or fines can be incurred.”
Statistics between the years 2012 and 2016 reveal speeding continues to be the number one contributing factor for all motor vehicle accidents across the Shire.
“Over a quarter of all local crashes can be directly related to speed,” Ms Lausz said. “Of these crashes 37 per cent occurred on roads with a speed limit of 60 kilometres an hour or less.”
“Sadly many of these crashes occurred during the school hours of 9am and 3pm.”
The speed limit around schools is 40km per hour between 8.00am and 9.30am and again between 2.30pm and 4.00pm on gazetted school days.