The Daily Telegraph Saturday 29 January 2005

 

The Debate

By HAROLD SCRUBY, STEVE O'REILLY

 

Should speed cameras operate in school zones on gazetted school days if pupils are not at school?

 

YES - By HAROLD SCRUBY*

CHILDREN are our greatest asset. They deserve all the protection we can possibly give them.

 

Their behaviour is unpredictable and their size makes it difficult for drivers to see them.  They are unable to accurately judge the speed and distance of oncoming vehicles. And they are easily distracted.

 

For all these reasons and more, we as a community have decided that all schools should be surrounded by 40km/h speed zones between 8am and 9.30am and 2.30pm and 4pm on all gazetted school days.

 

For standardisation, simpli-city and consistency, these times and dates must apply whether they are pupil-free days, teacher-release days, or otherwise.

 

Some children still come and go to school on these days.

 

However, in the name of fairness, solar-powered flashing lights should be installed outside schools so drivers are aware that they must slow down during these days and times.

 

There should also be fixed speed cameras in these zones, the revenue from which would fund their installation and maintenance outside every school in the state.

 

* Harold Scruby is the Pedestrian Council of Australia's CEO and chairman

 

NO - By STEVE O'REILLY

SPEEDING fines should be waived for people travelling over 40km/h but under 60km/h in school zones on days when students aren't there, like pupil-free days, because it's just common sense.

 

Why would you be fined under circumstances that are non-existent?

 

The thought of speeding in a school zone when children are at school abhores me; I don't want to do that, and I'm yet to meet anyone who does.

 

There is also a broader issue here: there is not sufficient warning of an approaching school zone and, as such, it is not always easy to realise that you are approaching one.

I have been detected doing 50km/h in a school zone and the reason I was over the speed limit was simple. In between signs advising motorists of clearways and no stopping, as well as advertising and parked cars, you can't always tell whether you're in a school zone, let alone take into account the time of day in relation to the lower speed limit.

 

Flashing lights should be installed 15 minutes before the zone becomes effective to warn motorists to lower their speed.

 

Steve O'Reilly is the father of a primary school-aged child and was recently detected doing 50km/h in a school zone

 

 
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