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Pedestrian Council of Australia
Safety – Amenity – Access – Health

The Walking Class Heroes

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE 

Thursday 25 February 2010
 
 

Audit Office Schoolzone Report

Audit Proves NSW Government Doesn’t Give A Damn About the Safety of our Children - Votes Before Lives

Background:    The Auditor-General’s Schoolzone Report, released today, verifies what the PCA has been saying for years.  Speeding enforcement and parking enforcement in schoolzones (except where there are fixed speed cameras) is virtually non-existent throughout NSW.

The Chairman of the PCA, Harold Scruby, said today: “While all other states have a fleet of mobile speed cameras, the NSW government allowed their 24 mobile speed cameras to quietly and gradually disappear.  As a result, there was a 23% increase in the 2009 NSW Road Toll.  Now, the NSW A-G has found (quote):  ‘The future of our country and our society lies with our children. NSW motorists must understand the risk they pose to our children if they speed around schools. We need to ensure that motorists know when and where they should slow for school zones, but if that doesn’t work there is no alternative but to get tougher. Ninety-nine per cent of school zones don’t have speed cameras, and that’s why I have asked the RTA to tell the public what has happened to the mobile speed cameras that the Minister promised in 2006 would be rotated between school zones.’

“In early January this year, another PCA FoI discovered that NSW Police had written to the RTA on 19 August 2009, recommending the adoption of new digital mobile speed cameras.  In response, on 2 January, Premier Keneally said that recommendations regarding the Mobile Speed Cameras would be finalised by end February 2010.  We therefore call upon Premier Keneally to produce the recommendations from the RTA’s Road Safety Centre without delay.

Mr Scruby added:  “In another extremely disturbing conclusion, the Auditor-General found (quote): “Unsafe parking may also contribute to the hazards around schools, and illegal and unsafe parking can be routinely observed in many school zones.  Most councils do little or no enforcement of parking restrictions in NSW school zones.  Our FoI of 2008 revealed exactly the same information.  Unfortunately, the A-G does not have the power to fully investigate Councils, therefore his shocking revelations demand an urgent, full-scale and top-level investigation.

“NSW has very tough penalties for illegal parking in schoolzones.  Apart from higher penalties, all offences attract 2 Demerit Points.  Yet Councils continue to refuse to enforce these laws for fear of upsetting their voters, rate-payers and residents.  Again, votes come before lives.  There is a meter-maid, revenue-raising mentality in most Councils throughout NSW, who turn their collective blind-eyes to enforcing dangerous parking offences if they are committed by commercial operators or their constituents.  We call on the Ministers for Transport, Police and Local Government to immediately instigate an independent review of parking enforcement with recommendations as to how to require Councils to properly enforce the parking laws (including annual independent audits and published comparisons by the State Debt Recovery Offices), with the focus on offences where there is potential for harm, not parking meters.”  he said.

“The safety of the people of NSW, particularly our children, requires politicians who will make tough decisions, not politicians who keep calling for reports and deferring decisions which eventually costs lives”.  Mr Scruby added.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD - NSW AUDIT OFFICE MEDIA RELEASE

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD - NSW AUDIT OFFICE SCHOOLZONES REPORT

Contact:  Harold Scruby – (0418) 110-011 – See full details of the FoI at:  www.walk.com.au