As children return to school in Canberra this week, Minister for Police and Emergency Services Joy Burch has joined ACT Policing Chief Police Officer Rudi Lammers to remind motorists that 40km/h school zones are now in effect.
“It is estimated that more than 42,700 students will be starting in our public schools across Canberra and others in our private schools, and it is important to remember children are our most vulnerable road users; they are not as aware as adults of the dangers associated with crossing the road,” Burch said.
“For example, more than 4,700 children are estimated to be starting their first day of school today in public preschools and those children may be even less aware of road safety and behave unpredictably around traffic. With that in mind, drivers should be extra cautious around school zones.”
CPO Lammers said ACT Policing would conduct traffic patrols of each school at least once every term, targeting speeding along with other offences such as failing to give way at a school crossing.
“Speed limits in school zones are there to ensure the safety of our children by allowing motorists extra time to stop in an unexpected situation. Police will continue to enforce the 40km/h limit by proactively targeting each school throughout the term,” CPO Lammers said.
Drivers who choose to ignore the speed limits face tough penalties, ranging from a fine of $203 and the loss of one demerit point to $1,811 and the loss of six demerit points.
Last year, 827 drivers received Traffic Infringement Notices (TINs) for speeding in ACT school zones, 169 fewer than the previous year.