Pedestrian Council of
Safety – Amenity – Access – Health
Friday 19 May 2006
|NRMA Motoring & Services Indicates Interest in Financing Such a Project
The Chairman of the PCA, Harold Scruby said today: “Several years ago, the then Premier Bob Carr, took $20 million from Speed Camera revenue and gave it to stem-cell research. It was a publicity stunt during the visit by Christopher Reeve (Superman).
“Ordinarily, revenue from Speed Cameras goes directly to consolidated revenue. Then the RTA has to go cap in hand to beg for additional cameras, even though they may have a proven and urgent need for same in certain areas. These devices pay for themselves many times over. And as technology improves, they become cheaper to buy and operate. The current financial model is flawed, because even though these life-saving devices are more than self-funding, Treasury won’t release the required funds.
“We are therefore asking the NSW Government to consider installing Speed Cameras at all the most dangerous School Zones throughout the state and hypothecate a percentage of the revenue to fund the installation and maintenance of Flashing Lights around all schools in NSW.
“In 1995, following an extensive campaign and community protest meeting, the PCA was instrumental in getting the first 40 kmh School Zone on a main road in Australia. This was at
“Since then, 40 kmh zones have been installed around all schools in NSW.
“In discussions held yesterday with the CEO of the NRMA Motoring & Services, Mr Tony Stuart indicated to us that his organisation would consider financing up to 20 Speed Cameras across the state if the money would go to the installation of Flashing Lights around all schools.
“Children are our greatest asset and they deserve maximum protection at all times of the day, especially outside schools.” Mr Scruby added.
Minister for Roads
SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2006
MAJOR NSW SCHOOL ROAD SAFETY PACKAGE
Safety at school zones across NSW will be upgraded with state-of-the-art technology and new education programs in a major school student safety initiative, Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal announced today.
The five-point plan includes:
► Electronic school safety alert systems, incorporating flashing 40km/h signs and lights, will be developed and rolled out across NSW, with the first 100 to be fast-tracked
► A combination of 50 fixed and mobile speed cameras will be installed and rotated between all NSW school zones – operating only in school zone hours
► Increased fines and demerit points for driving offences in school zones
► A ‘Drop-off-and-go, Pick-up-and-go’ system will allow parents to become more involved in student safety and ease congestion around participating schools
► A School Child Safety Roundtable will address further initiatives raised by parents, schools, community groups and the Roads and Traffic Authority.
“This is a comprehensive package which will improve the safety of our children around NSW schools,” Mr Roozendaal said.
The plan follows the Evaluation of Flashing Lights in 40km/h School Speed Zones report.
1. High visibility warning display system
The RTA will immediately call for expressions of interest to develop a new electronic school safety alert system, incorporating state-of-the-art features such as flashing lights and flashing signs. The warning system, which must be highly visible, could also include other features like electronic variable message signs and a back-to-base component to report faults.
Mr Roozendaal said the trial of flashing lights at 43 schools had found the existing technology could reduce speeds but was unreliable.
“We can do better than the flashing lights that were trialled – we need to put in place better and more effective technology,” Mr Roozendaal said.
“My goal is to have the latest technology as soon as possible. This is not a trial, this technology will roll out across the State on a needs basis, based on expert advice and safety criteria.
“Unlike the Opposition, I will not waste millions of dollars on an existing unreliable approach.”
The Evaluation of Flashing Lights in 40km/h School Speed Zones report found:
“The message from the evaluation is that while speed reductions have been achieved, the existing flashing light technology is unreliable,” Mr Roozendaal said.
2. School safety speed cameras
Fifty speed cameras, including mobile cameras to be rotated between school zones, will be commissioned.
A mixture of fixed and mobile cameras will covertly monitor school zones in consultation with police.
The cameras will only operate in school zone hours and all revenue from them will be put straight back into road safety projects.
The safety alert systems could also be fitted to house speed cameras.
“There will be no excuse for speeding through school zones – signs at every school zone will warn motorists that speed cameras operate in school zones,” Mr Roozendaal said.
“Any school zone could have a camera in it.
“When it comes to school zones there is no excuse for reckless behaviour of any kind.
“I know the public don’t like speed cameras but this school zone speeding has to stop.
“These are tough measures but we are talking about the safety of our children.”
3. Increased fines and demerit points
Penalties for driving offences in school zones will also increase.
New regulations are currently being drafted and include motorists losing an additional demerit point for all driving offences committed in school zones during school zone operating hours.
Fines will also increase one level. [See attached fact sheet]
4. Drop-off-and-go, Pick-up-and-go
Mr Roozendaal said it was important to embrace parents’ and school communities’ enthusiasm to educate children about road safety.
The ‘Drop-off-and-go, Pick-up-and-go’ parking and marshalling system will be offered to schools across NSW.
Under the system, which already operates in several NSW schools, parents volunteer on a tuck-shop style roster to greet students arriving at school in cars, open doors and marshal them safely through the school gates.
“This system saves parents the trouble of finding parking, clogging local roads and walking their children to the gate,” Mr Roozendaal said.
“Parents can simply drop off their kids in an orderly way and be reassured a parent will be there to escort them into the school.
“I know a number of schools have a system like this in place that works well.
“We all have an interest in improving school zone safety.”
5. School Safety Roundtable
A new School Child Safety Roundtable will meet on June 21 to discuss further school child safety measures, including a second category of accredited ‘lollipop people’.
The roundtable will also look at whether school zone hours should be increased because children are spending longer at school sites in before and after school day care.
“I want to ensure adequate consultation moving forward,” Mr Roozendaal said.
“I want all interested and relevant parties to be fully briefed on the measures being put in place today, and we need a broader public debate.”
The roundtable will consider and make recommendations on:
Mr Roozendaal said the NSW Government is determined to do all it can in partnership with schools, parents and motorists to improve the road safety of our children.
A major advertising campaign for lollipop people will be launched this week in metropolitan, regional and suburban newspapers to fill existing vacancies.
The RTA will contract a skills hire firm to help fill vacancies faster when positions become vacant.
“We must always be looking to make further improvements,” Mr Roozendaal said.
“And we must always be mindful that small children are at risk because of their size and the fact they can be easily distracted and act unpredictably.”
· Footage of artist’s impression of new warning system design and overlay footage of ‘Drop-off-and-go, Pick-up-and-go’ is available
· The reports into flashing lights in 40km/h school zones and school zone speed cameras are also available at www.rta.nsw.gov.au
MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Muhlen-Schulte on 9228 3535 or 0403 141 300
What is Drop-off-and-go, Pick-up-and-go?
What school communities need to consider
As part of the program, both parents and students learn more about road safety, including:
NSW SCHOOL STUDENT SAFETY
TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR SCHOOL ZONE OFFENCES
Irresponsible motorists who speed through school zones face tougher fines and increased demerit points.
For the first time, double parking and stopping in a bus zone will attract two demerit points and an increase in fines from $175 to $225.
These new fines specifically target motorists breaking road rules in school zones during school zone operating hours.
Motorists who commit any driving offence in NSW school zones while a zone is in operation will have an additional demerit point added to their driver’s licence.
The following fines will apply in school zones during school zone hours:
Fines will increase by one level for offences committed in a school zone during school zone hours – 8am to 9.30am and 2.30pm to 4pm.
A $75 fine will increase to $125, $175 to $225, $225 to $300 and a $300 fine goes up to $375.
Demerit offences committed in school zones during school zone operating hours will all attract one extra demerit point. This includes: