Sydney drivers have been put on notice as hundreds of thousands of children prepare to return to classrooms from Friday.
The NRMA is reminding motorists to take care around school zones – which apply across NSW from Friday – after speeding fines during the February 2021 back-to-school period almost doubled on the year before.
Some 17,494 fines were issued in school zones in February 2021, a 95 per cent increase on the same month the previous year (8947).
The fines were issued by fixed and red-light speed cameras and 85 per cent were for drivers caught speeding 10km/h or under.
The five following school zones saw alarming jumps in fines year-on-year, including:
- Victoria Road, Ryde: from 532 in 2020 to 1131 in 2021
- Bunnerong Road, Eastgardens: from 525 in 2020 to 1057 in 2021
- The Boulevard, Strathfield: from 240 in 2020 to 492 in 2021
- Avoca Street, Randwick: from 170 in 2020 to 397 in 2021
- Edgar Street, Condell Park: from 83 in 2020 to 228 in 2021
NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury said the almost doubling of fines last year in school zones was a “terrible statistic”.
“With school zones beginning today across NSW, we don’t want to see the alarming figures of last year repeated,” Mr Khoury said.
“Our message is simple, do the right thing. If you are driving to take kids to or from school, or just happen to be driving through a school zone follow the road rules.”
‘Our message is simple, do the right thing’ – NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury
Mr Khoury said the message was more important than ever, with COVID-19 expected to impact travel behaviour and prompting many parents to drive their children to school or walk, rather than use public transport.
“For parents and carers picking up or dropping off students, instead of illegally parking over a crossing, at a corner, or double parking; park on the next block or around the corner and walk to the school gate,” Mr Khoury said.
“If you’re walking younger children to school, it is a fantastic opportunity to practise safe behaviours together. Hold their hand the whole way; point out and explain any dangers on the way such as cars reversing out of driveways and safely crossing roads.
“For older children walking to school alone for the first time, we recommend mapping out a route together with safe crossings and practising the route with parents or older siblings before school returns.
“It is especially important for children when walking alone near roads to make sure devices are away and if children are listening to music using headphones, they remove one earbud so they can still hear the environment around them.”
For more information on heading back to school safely, visit myNRMA.