The summer holidays are officially over and children across NSW went back to school this week for the start of the academic year.  The beginning of the new term comes as a timely opportunity to remind motorists to take care in school zones and to obey the reduced speed limit.

School zones generally operate between 8am to 9:30am and 2:30pm to 4pm on school days.  During these times, the usual speed limit is reduced to 40kph.  Motorists should however pay attention to local signage, as the hours can vary between areas, with some school zones operating all day on school days.

Children can be unpredictable pedestrians and vulnerable road users.  As a result, motor vehicle accidents involving child pedestrians usually result in serious injuries.  This makes it important for motorists to be aware of their surroundings and heed the reduced 40kph speed limit in school zones.  Drivers should also be alert to pedestrian crossings, turning school buses, and heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic during school drop off and pick up times.

Parents of school children are encouraged to educate their children about road safety, drop children off in a safe kerbside location, arrange a designated pick up spot, and always park legally.

Finally, a wording of warning from NSW Police who reminded motorists in a media release earlier this week of the higher penalties that apply in school zones.  The statement read: “Higher penalties for mobile phone use in school zones also apply ($425) in addition to four demerit points. Parking offences also carry higher penalties in school zones and also incur demerit points“.

Written by Victoria Roy (née Gallanders).

Victoria Roy is an Associate Solicitor at Stacks Goudkamp.  Victoria primarily deals with travel law claims, but also assists Managing Director Tom Goudkamp with serious injury motor accident claims including claims brought on behalf of injured children.  If your child has been injured in a car accident, contact Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800 or contact us online for a free no obligation consultation.