9 September 2020

Liberals again pledge flashing lights for school zones in safety package

| Ian Bushnell
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Flashing traffic sign

The Canberra Liberals want to see signs like this one from NSW alerting ACT drivers to school zone speed limits. Photo: File.

A Liberal Government will install flashing lights at the start of school zones as part of upgrades to drop-off and pick-up areas designed to calm traffic and improve safety.

The Canberra Liberals will be hoping it is third time lucky for the proposal which it took to the 2012 and 2016 elections.

It is part of package of measures for schools that also reaffirms that the Liberals will restore school bus services cut by the Barr Government in its public transport shake-up.

The Liberals will also provide dedicated crossing supervisors at every school that needs one.

The lights proposal will cost $7.5 million, and $5 million will be allocated to upgrade school drop-off and pick-up zones.

Opposition Leader Alistair Coe said the Liberals were focused on delivering real and practical solutions to reduce stresses on families and improve child safety.

“Our plan for safer school zones will help get kids to and from school safely and give parents greater peace of mind,” Mr Coe said.

Education spokesperson Elizabeth Lee said flashing lights and clear road markings were proven ways to remind drivers to slow down in school zones.

“Most drivers want to do the right thing but may not always know they are driving through a school zone,” she said. ”Flashing lights and clear road markings at school zones will act as a friendly reminder to drivers that they are in a school zone and there may be school children about.

“Flashing lights and road crossing supervisors will help calm our roads at school zones and improve student safety,” Ms Lee said.

All schools in NSW have at least one set of school zone flashing lights, and more have been installed at more than 500 schools that have multiple busy entrances.

Selected schools in the ACT already have crossing supervisors. The program commenced at 20 crossings in 2018, with another five crossings included from the beginning of the 2019 school year.

Candice Burch

Candice Burch said ”parents don’t feel comfortable with their young children waiting around at bus interchanges with strangers”. Photo: File.

Canberra Liberals’ transport spokesperson Candice Burch said families across Canberra wanted to see dedicated school buses returned to the community.

“Many families relied on dedicated school buses to get their kids to schools. That’s why so many of them rearranged their workday to manage school drop off after Labor and the Greens cut dedicated school buses,” she said.

”Parents don’t feel comfortable with their young children waiting around at bus interchanges with strangers.

”That’s why we’re committed to providing dedicated school buses to every school that wants them.”

The government originally cut 51 school services but has since restored some after community feedback.

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Stephen Saunders3:54 pm 11 Sep 20

Have your “package of school measures”. With lights. But play fair.

Just landing in my letterbox today is the straight-out Liberal lie that ACT has the “worst school results in Australia”.

One scarcely knows where to begin. But let’s just begin with ACT leading Australia, in the last PISA round.

Outstanding announcement. This will help both families and drivers, making all school zones safer.

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