RAA urges drivers to obey the rules around schools
Increasing numbers of drivers are being caught speeding and red-light running at school pedestrian crossings, figures obtained by RAA reveal.
South Australia's staged return to school reaches its climax today with all students back to face to face learning for term one. This has prompted a plea from RAA for motorists to be vigilant of the road rules as the majority of students return to class today.
The latest police figures show 21,345 drivers were caught on camera speeding and running red lights at school pedestrian crossing last financial year. This was 1,025 more than were caught on fixed cameras for the same offences in 2019/20.
Fines generated by the fixed cameras at school crossing also increased from $7.7m to $8.4m in the same period.
But RAA Senior Manager of Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain warned motorists risked more than a hit to the hip pocket by speeding or running red lights at school pedestrian crossings.
“Speeding and running red lights can have potentially catastrophic consequences,’’ Mr Mountain said.
“Pedestrians and cyclists – especially young children – are among the most vulnerable road users and RAA urges motorists to exercise vigilance and caution around schools.’’
The latest police data also shows 258 pedestrians and 251 cyclists under the age of 18 were involved in road crashes between 2016 and 2020 – with 37 per cent of these between the hours of 8 to 9 am and 3 to 4 pm.
While drivers may have become accustomed to reduced traffic levels over the holiday period with many workers working from home under State Government advice, RAA is asking motorists to prepare for busier roads in the coming days as all school students return to class from today.
“We’d expect the roads to start to return to usual traffic conditions, so it’s a good idea to allow yourself a few extra minutes to reach your destination, particularly if you’re doing a school drop-off as well,” Mr Mountain said.
Mr Mountain said that transporting children safely in vehicles was also an often-overlooked part of the school drop-off process for parents. According to recent data from RAA’s Child Safety Centre, almost 90% of child restraints are either not fitted or used correctly.
RAA is now calling on the State Government, ahead of the State Election in March, to reform child restraint legislation to improve protection for children.
“It’s crucially important for motorists to ensure they not only provide children with a restraint that’s suitable based on their size and age, but one that’s fitted and adjusted correctly as well,” he said.
“A child who is restrained properly will be in a much safer position in the car, and much less likely to be injured in the event of a crash.”