School traffic returns for 2024

29 January, 2024

Drivers are being reminded to leave a few minutes earlier at peak times this week, as the majority of South Australia’s 280,000 students begin the new school year.

RAA is reminding motorists that travel times on key roads will increase during the morning peak, which is heaviest between 8:00 – 9:00am, and roads will also be busier in the afternoons.

RAA analysis has shown that Eastbound travel times on a 3km stretch of Grange Road, for example, increased from around 5 minutes 40 seconds during school holidays, to around 10 minutes 30 seconds during the school term.

RAA Senior Manager Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said drivers should be patient with school zones in operation and more children near the road.

“With around 280,000 students going back to school this week, road users should expect increased traffic and plan their journeys accordingly,” Mr Mountain said. 

“If you’re driving after 7:30am your morning commute will likely take a little longer than usual, and busy intersections may take an extra phase to get through, so plan ahead and allow extra time.

“Motorists should also show extra care and patience around school zones, where lots more children will be present whether they’re being dropped off, riding or walking to school.

“Equally, parents and caregivers should plan ahead for school drop-off and pick-up – ensuring they don’t block driveways, queue in streets or double park.

“Sometimes parking a little further away and walking can be quicker than queuing up to get into the specific drop-off or pick-up zone.”

Mr Mountain also urged drivers to be alert to changing traffic lights at pedestrian crossings, many of which will be in more frequent use from this week.

“Alarmingly, many motorists are still running red lights at pedestrian crossings near school zones, highlighting the need for many drivers to be more patient and attentive to changing traffic lights,” Mr Mountain said.

“Be aware that school and midblock crossings will be activated more frequently so be prepared to stop when the lights change – not doing so can put school children and other pedestrians at serious risk of serious injury or worse.

“In school zones specifically, remember to slow down to 25 km/hr when children are present – and this applies even outside of school hours and on weekends.

“Remember to also slow down to 25 km/hr at Emu (orange flag) and Koala (orange flashing lights) crossings, and always be prepared to stop to allow parents and children to safely cross.”