Push for 40km/h school zone
A 40km/h school-zone crossing is likely to be introduced adjacent to Karratha Senior High School, after ongoing safety concerns from the community over the existing school crossing on Dampier Highway.
The safety of students crossing this section of road has been a concern for residents since the school moved there in August, 2013.
In May 2014, Main Roads WA said the crossing would be manned by traffic wardens, with additional wig wag lighting installed at the intersection of Dampier Highway and Broadhurst Road.
However, Karratha Senior High School is one of three schools in the area which has been without any traffic wardens this year to help students cross the road safely.
City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the wig wag lights installed at the Broadhurst Road and Dampier Highway intersection had caused confusion and were ineffective unless used in conjunction with a traffic warden.
“The council has always advocated for an alternative design as we feel the design is sub-optimal,” he said.
“The wig wag lights that were installed are supposed to be used in conjunction with a traffic warden during school drop-off and pick-up hours, but that position has still not been filled.
“We have applied for funding under the Black Spot Program to replace the roundabout with traffic signals, however that is likely to take some time to implement.”
Mr Long said the City was working with Main Roads to implement a school zone of 40km/h during dropoff and pick-up times.
“In the meantime, we are trying to reinforce the message that pedestrians must give way to vehicles and have installed new signage along the footpaths and notified the school,” he said.
A spokeswoman from Main Roads WA said it was working with police, the Road Safety Commission and the school to find a solution.
“Consideration is being given to introduce a 40 km/h zone,” she said.
“In addition to the flashing warning signals … additional warning signage has been installed.
“School-guard crossings are the responsibility of the WA Police school crossing unit.”
KSHS acting principal Jennifer McMahon said was pleased to see a more coordinated approach between government agencies to improve the crossing.
“Ultimately it’s the safety of the students that is our priority,” Ms McMahon said.