Watch your speed around school zones

Watch out, kids about: School zone speed limits are back in force after the long holiday break.

Watch out, kids about: School zone speed limits are back in force after the long holiday break.

Drivers are urged to watch their speed around school zones as students return to the classroom.

School zones across NSW apply from January 28, with most students returning to class from next week.

Fines for exceeding the 40km/hr speed limit around school zones in February 2021 almost doubled on the year before.

NRMA figures revealed 17,494 speeding fines in school zones were issued in February 2021. This was an 95 per cent increase on the same month on the previous year.

The fines were issued by fixed and red-light speed cameras and 85 per cent of fines issued were for drivers caught speeding 10km/hr or below.

"It's a terrible statistic...we don't want to see the alarming figures of last year repeated," NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said.

"Our message is simple, do the right thing. If you are driving to take kids to or from school, or just happen to be driving through a school zone follow the road rules."

Motorists should also prepare for more congestion around school zones.

"Instead of illegally parking over a crossing, at a corner, or double parking, park on the next block or around the corner and walk to the school gate," Mr Khoury said.

"If you're walking younger children to school, it is a fantastic opportunity to practice safe behaviours together. Hold their hand the whole way, point out and explain any dangers on the way such as cars reversing out of driveways and safely crossing roads.

"For older children walking to school alone for the first time, we recommend mapping out a route together with safe crossings and practicing the route with parents or older siblings before school returns.

"It is especially important for children when walking alone near roads to make sure devices are away and if children are listening to music using headphones, they remove one ear bud so they can still hear the environment around them."

Public transport services will also be ramped up to support the safe return of students to the classroom.

Returning school students will have access to more than 3400 dedicated bus services a week and additional train services will be added for school commuting peak times.

The COVID-19 Safe Transport Plan remains in place with green physical distancing dots and enhanced cleaning across the network. Face masks are mandatory on public transport for anyone aged over 12.

All dedicated school bus services will be operational and train services will run on a Saturday timetable, with additional services during school peak hours.

No student will be turned away from any public transport service, even if it means physical distancing will not always be possible.

This story Watch your speed around school zones first appeared on St George & Sutherland Shire Leader.