School zone at kingscliff high school
School zone at kingscliff high school John Gass

School zone blitz catches 1300 speeding drivers

POLICE detected more than 1300 drivers exceeding the speed limit in school zones during a state-wide operation.

Police also stopped 400 drivers for not wearing a seatbelt, ignoring one of the basic practices while behind the wheel.

Officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command conducted Operation Compliance on Wednesday to target school zone speeding, seatbelt use and pedestrian crossing offences.

Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, commander of the state’s Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, said the operation showed an extreme lack of personal responsibility by drivers on NSW roads.

“For 1366 drivers to be speeding in school zones displays utter disregard for the safety of our state’s most valuable asset, our children,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

“Fortunately, a young life was not claimed yesterday as a result of someone’s unacceptable and irresponsible driving behaviour.

“Our officers will always be at the forefront of policing vulnerable areas such as school zones to ensure that we protect children, their parents, siblings, school teachers and staff going to and from schools.”

During the one-day operation, 440 pedestrians were also fined for crossing the road at the wrong location or time.

“Traffic operations such as Compliance can be initiated at any time we see high risk behaviour on our roads to reduce road trauma and will target all offences, including illegal mobile phone use, distraction, impairment and speeding,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

Take car on

During school zone hours between 8am and 9.30am in the morning and 2.30pm and 4pm in the afternoon:

  • Motorists must stick to the 40km/h speed limit in a school zone as children are about and can be unpredictable.
  • Look out for buses pulling out – watch for wig-wag lights.
  • Always park and turn legally around schools and avoid dangerous manoeuvres like U-turns and three-point turns.
  • Always give way to pedestrians particularly when entering and leaving driveways.
  • Drop off and pick up children on the school side of the road in your school’s designated drop-off and pick-up area. Calling out to them from across the road can be dangerous because they may run to you without checking traffic.
  • It’s safest for the kids to get out of the car on the kerb side of the road to be away from passing traffic.

“To have 400 motorists detected not wearing a seat belt, a most basic practice when getting into a car, suggests sheer ignorance or carelessness on the part of those drivers,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

Although it has been compulsory to wear seatbelts in New South Wales since 1971, each year on average there are more than 50 people killed and 300 injured who were not wearing seatbelts. These deaths and injuries could have possibly been prevented if seatbelts had been used.

In a crash, a person who is not restrained by a seatbelt will continue to travel forward at the speed the vehicle was travelling until something stops them. This could be the steering wheel, dashboard or windscreen. In some crashes, the person may burst through one of the windows and be partially or fully ejected from the vehicle, exposing them to other dangers. They might hit fixed objects or be run over or crushed by their own, or another, vehicle.

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