School zones operate 8.00am to 9.30am and 2.30pm to 4.00pm on school days and will be in force again from the 27th January 2017. Road users in the Greater Hume and Lockhart Shire Council areas are being urged to take care in and around school areas, including school bus stops and routes.
Councils’ Road Safety Officer, Kim Schultz, said “every road user has a responsibility to ensure their own safety and the safety of others. Children’s behaviour can be unpredictable. They can be easily distracted and wander into traffic. That’s why children under the age of 8 years should be holding an adult’s hand and be closely supervised at all times while out and about wherever vehicles are present”.
“Drivers must slow down to the posted speed limit of 40km/h in school zones, as this allows for the opportunity to see, perceive and react to a hazard sufficiently. However this is assuming the driver is fully alert, weather conditions are ideal, vision is appropriate and the vehicle is roadworthy. Unfortunately vision is not always clear due to parked cars and buses, weather can be glary, overcast and raining, some drivers are thinking and doing other things and many vehicles have under-inflated tyres which will take longer to stop in an emergency” said Kim.
Miss Schultz also advises while 40km/h is the school zone speed limit, travelling slower can be safer, especially when operating heavier vehicles.
As well as keeping kids safe as pedestrians, it’s important to keep them safe as passengers, buckled up in the right restraint.
“Children travelling on school buses must wear the seatbelt fitted to the vehicle. I encourage parents, and teenagers who are mature enough to understand the consequences of not wearing seatbelts, to consistently reinforce safe behaviour and ensure seatbelts are worn by all who travel on the bus”, Kim added.
For further information about road safety and road rules surrounding school zones and school buses, go to www.rms.nsw.gov.au or contact Kim Schultz on 6036 0100 or email RoadSafety@greaterhume.nsw.gov.au