Slow down around school zones

School Zones

With Central Coast children returning to school last week, drivers are being urged to slow down and watch for the 40km speed zones around the region to ensure safety.

Central Coast Council of P&Cs President, Sharryn Brownlee, said drivers need to stay vigilant and continue to look out for school zones.

“It has been six weeks since school has been operating, so people just need constant reminders to remain vigilant,” Brownlee said.

“Generally, people drive around with their destination in mind, and not tuned into what they are doing.

“This is why reminders such as flashing lights and 40km speed signs are important.”

A recent survey by the NRMA revealed more than a quarter of parents witnessed a near-miss collision between pedestrians and cars outside schools in the past year.

More than half the respondents in the survey of more 1000 members (51 per cent) were concerned about double parking or illegal stopping when dropping off and picking up children.

Forty-one per cent were concerned about speeding in school zones, and half were concerned about a lack of parking near schools.

NRMA Road Safety Expert, Dimitra Vlahomitros, said motorists needed to employ extreme caution around school zones.

“There’s no excuse for poor driver behaviour at any time, but especially not when children’s lives are at risk,” Vlahomitros said.

“Our members tell us they are witnessing shockingly risky behaviour around schools, like drivers driving on the wrong side of the road to get past queues of parents dropping kids off, speeding, dropping very young children off alone on roads, or performing illegal or dangerous u-turns.”

She said primary school-aged children were more vulnerable around vehicles because they did not have the skills and judgment that come naturally with age and experience.

“Parents and guardians can take simple steps to ensure the safety of their children and other children around school zones,” Vlahomitros said.

“Schools worked so hard in 2020 to ensure safe environments were provided for children during COVID.

“As we start the school year the extra traffic congestion around the schools will return and the NRMA is calling on all road users to adjust to these conditions and take safe measures to keep children safe.”

Jacinta Counihan