RAA urges motorists to be vigilant as students return to class

14 February, 2022

More motorists are being caught speeding and running red lights at school pedestrian crossings, according to latest figures obtained by the RAA.

This illegal behaviour is putting more students at risk of potential injury – or worse, RAA warns.

As the majority of school students return to class today, we’re reminding motorists to be vigilant of the road rules around schools.

Latest police figures show 21,345 drivers were caught on camera speeding and running red lights at school pedestrian crossing last financial year.

This was 1,025 more than were caught on fixed cameras for the same offences in 2019/20. Fines generated by the fixed cameras at school crossing also increased from $7.7m to $8.4m in the same period.

But RAA Senior Manager of Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain warned motorists risked more than a hit to the hip pocket by speeding or running red lights at school pedestrian crossings.

“Pedestrians and cyclists – especially young children – are among the most vulnerable road users and RAA urges motorists to exercise vigilance and caution around schools,’’ Mr Mountain said.

Primary school students learn about road safety at an RAA Street Smart Primary class

Latest police data also shows 258 pedestrians and 251 cyclists under the age of 18 were involved in road crashes between 2016 and 2020 – with 37 per cent of these between the hours of 8 to 9am and 3 to 4pm. 

Mr Mountain said that transporting children safely in vehicles was also an often-overlooked part of the school drop-off process for parents. According to recent data from RAA’s Child Safety Centre, almost 90% of child restraints are either not fitted or used correctly.

RAA is now calling on the State Government, ahead of the State Election in March, to reform child restraint legislation to improve protection for children.

“It’s crucially important for motorists to ensure they not only provide children with a restraint that’s suitable based on their size and age, but one that’s fitted and adjusted correctly as well,” he said.

“A child who is restrained properly will be in a much safer position in the car, and much less likely to be injured in the event of a crash.”