ACT motorists have been warned that school speed zones will apply across the territory even though only nine schools are providing on-site learning.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said increasing school zone speed limits from 40 km/h to 50 km/h was low on his agenda, especially coming after a weekend marred by a spate of high-range speeding offences.
ACT Policing issued more than 250 traffic infringements over the Anzac Day long weekend, almost 90 per cent of which were speeding offences.
Four drivers were caught exceeding the speed limit by more than 45 km/h, the most severe speeding infringement category. Two of the offenders were P-plate drivers, caught doing 50 km/h and 60 km/h over the limit.
Detective Station Sergeant Marcus Boorman said that the weekend’s results were disappointing after seven people also tested positive for driving under the influence of drugs.
“Last week we urged Canberra drivers to do the right thing and stick to the speed limits. Unfortunately, our drivers didn’t heed the message and we have seen more than 230 issued with speeding infringements,” Detective Station Sergeant Boorman said.
“These penalties are completely avoidable. If you stick to the speed limit you will make your journey safer and provide a safer road experience for all road users.”
When questioned by reporters about why school zones were still in place when children are only attending nine schools, Mr Barr said the disappointing speeding figures exemplified the need for patience from Canberrans.
“In the grand scheme of things, the difference between 50km/h and 40km/h in a school zone would save someone about five seconds of travel time, so of all of the issues we have to deal with at the moment, that is not high on my list,” Mr Barr said.
“There are still people on those school sites and I think it is good practice for people to get into, to slow down around schools regardless of the circumstances.
“The police have been very clear that the biggest issue they are facing is people speeding. Do not risk it, slow down the 10km/h in school zones, those five seconds will be OK.”