WITH children returning to school this week, it also means that school zone speed limits are back in force.
Fines and demerit points apply if you are caught exceeding the 40km/h school zone limit, which operates between 8am and 9.30am and again from 2.30pm till 4pm.
MidCoast Council’s Road Safety Officer Chris Dimarco, reminds all road users to drive safely around our local schools.
“We’ve been working in close partnership with schools across the region to make people aware of the rules to ensure the safety of our local children,” he said.
“Police will be enforcing the 40km/hour speed limit within school zones, so please slow down in these areas.”
Motorists are also reminded that the ‘No Parking’ zones allow drivers to drop off and pick up passengers, however, the laws state that you must remain within three metres of the vehicle, and the maximum stopping time is two minutes.
The School Zone Safety campaign is supported by school staff, bus companies and local police.
Bulahdelah Deputy Principal Deb Gilbert, said to improve school zone safety, a ‘load and go’ bus system has recently been implemented at the school.
“The idea is that the students are all in one location, so it is easier to supervise them,” she said.
“The buses now come in the order they arrive, so they are not trying to navigate around each other on the roads, which also improves the flow of traffic around the school.”
Mrs Gilbert said other safety measures in place include flashing lights, which give drivers extra warning to slow down, and designated walkways.
Signs explaining the school zone traffic rules are also displayed.
“While most drivers should know the rules, if you’re unsure, we encourage you to either jump online to the Roads and Maritime Services website, contact the school or visit Service NSW to find out more,” Chris said.
By Daniel SAHYOUN