RAC reveals alarming level of distracted driving, speeding in school zones

PIC: File

A new RAC survey has shed light on the school drop-off and pick-up experience, with parents revealing an alarming level of distracted driving, speeding and near-misses outside our schools.

The survey shows more than 70 per cent of parents have witnessed a distracted driver whilst dropping-off or picking-up their children from school in the past 12 months. 

More than two-third have seen speeding speeding in a school zone, while more than half have seen a near-miss involving a pedestrian or cyclist. 

RAC Corporate Affairs General Manager Will Golsby said the statistics are concerning, particularly as students head back to the classroom this week for the new year.

“Going back to school can be very exciting, but also busy and chaotic — and that can be a risky combination on our roads, particularly around schools where there are young pedestrians and cyclists,” Mr Golsby said.

“This is clearly a concern for parents too, as our survey shows only 55 per cent believe their school’s drop-off and pick-up is safe or very safe.

“Parents are also telling us impatience is a huge problem around Perth schools, so we’re asking everyone to slow down and allow extra travel time if possible — this will reduce your stress levels and ensure you’re not in a rush during the school drop-off or pick-up."

Figures were released in State Parliament last year, showing over 32,700 drivers were fined for speeding in school zones in 2018. 

Frederick Irwin Anglican School and Assumption Catholic Primary School were among the worst five sites for speeding fines in 2018. 

Starting today, reduced speed limits of 40km an hour are back in effect in school zones between the hours of 7:30 and 9:00am, as well as 2:30 and 4:00pm.

“Research shows pedestrians and cyclists are twice as likely to be killed when hit by a car travelling at 50 km an hour, compared to 40km an hour,” Mr Golsby said.

“We all have a responsibility to ensure the safety of ourselves and each other.”

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