RAA’s ‘back to school’ advice

30 January, 2023

RAA has issued its ‘back to school’ advice South Australia’s 280,000 students return to school this week for the first time in 2023.

Motorists are being urged to be extra careful on our roads, especially around school zones, to help keep young children safe.

In the five years to 2021, 208 pedestrians and cyclists aged 18 and under were injured, with one losing their life in road crashes during the typical morning and afternoon school drop off and pick up period – prompting the warning.  

RAA Senior Traffic Engineer Matthew Vertudaches said motorists needed to take extra care as young children and students return to our footpaths, bike lanes and roads in numbers throughout the week.

“Pedestrians – especially young children – are among the most vulnerable road users and motorists should be vigilant and extra cautious around schools and nearby roads,” Mr Vertudaches said.

“Young children aren’t as familiar with the road rules as drivers so there really is a shared responsibility to help keep them safe and take extra care. 

“We’re urging motorists to observe the 25km/h limit when students are present in school zones.

“Drivers should be alert for children at these locations and be ready to stop to avoid a collision – it’s important to remember that school zones still apply, even outside of school hours, like for weekend sporting activities.

“School crossings will be operation on many roads, so look out for flashing amber lights or orange flags to indicate that the crossings are in operation.

“If you have to drop off your children at school on the way to work, remember to allow extra time for this and do the right thing – encourage them to exit on the left side of the vehicle directly onto the footpath, park correctly, don’t obstruct other road users and driveways and don’t park too close to corners.

“When walking with young children, it’s important to hold their hand and encourage safe behaviours around the roads. Set a good example, and remember to ‘stop, look, listen, and think’ when crossing a road – including at designated crossing points.

“Traffic also increases significantly with the return to school, so all commuters should allow some additional travel time if they’ve been leaving a little later over the past couple of weeks.”

South Australia’s largest membership organisation, RAA, will also be out in force throughout the year with RAA Street Smart Primary educators visiting schools across the state to educate students on road safety.  

“RAA will be out in force this year, visiting 300 schools and helping to educate more than 20,000 primary aged students and more than 2,000 pre-school children about road safety,” Mr Vertudaches said.

“The grassroots work we do in schools educating kids about road safety is very important and should be instilled in them from an early age.”

It is also a good opportunity before school starts to make sure that any child restraints or booster seats are correctly installed as per the manufacturer’s recommendations and that they comfortably accommodate your child.

For more information on this contact the RAA Child Safety Centre 8202 4592.