SCHOOL ZONE HOONS PUT OUR KIDS’ LIVES AT RISK ON ROAD TO DISASTER
IDIOTIC motorists are hurtling through school zones at more than 20km/h over the speed limit, putting children’s lives at risk.
A special Saturday Telegraph investigation can today reveal that just a tiny proportion of 40km/h zones outside schools across NSW have fixed speed cameras, and that an auditor-general’s recommendation that mobile cameras be installed has languished for nearly a decade.
Checks at schools across Sydney this week showed the flashing lights, fluorescent signs and “dragon’s teeth” road markings meant to make school zones safe are failing to deter dangerous drivers. Tests using a handheld speed gun clocked scores of motorists careering through in the morning and afternoon.
At Paddington Public School on Oxford St, 35 motorists were clocked breaking the 40km/h speed limit at speeds of up to 58km/h between 2.30pm and 4pm. Ashley Douglas, whose daughter Lucy, 8, attends the school said: “It’s so dangerous with cars flying past and kids can just easily wander out onto the road.”
On Frenchs Forest Rd, near Seaforth Public School, at the peak afternoon pick-up time of 3.15pm a semi-trailer sped down the hill at 48km/h, an Audi roared around the corner at 53km/h and three more cars were clocked in excess of 40km/h.
Ebenezer mother-of-two Rochelle Miller has petitioned authorities for speed cameras outside the local school: “It just gets passed from one authority to the other. We don’t understand why they don’t want to protect the children.”
Since 2015, 17 kids have been seriously injured in school zones — including two in the first three months of this year. Despite this, fixed speed and red-light cameras are located in only 50 of the state’s more than 3000 school zones. Those cameras last year recorded more than 105,000 speeding offences and collected just over $28 million in fines.
The NSW Audit Office last month issued a report saying “speed surveys indicate fewer than 50 per cent of drivers comply with the 40km/h speed limit in school zones”.
But Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon said it was not possible to use mobile speed cameras as a deterrent in school zones.
“The operation of mobile speed cameras in school zones can be problematic due to congestion where children are being dropped off or picked up and pedestrian traffic,” he said.
Ashley Douglas with daughter Lucy, 8, on their way to Paddington Public. Picture: Toby Zerna
A car speeding outside Westmead Public School on Thursday.