The NSW government announced today (May 24) that it had commenced on the first installations of flashing lights in school zones around the state aimed at keeping children safe and preventing car accident injuries.
This week, several Sydney schools in the Oatley, Coogee, Mount Druitt and Blacktown areas received the flashing lights as part of an accelerated installation program that will see a total of 280 sets installed outside NSW schools by the end of June.
Minister for roads and ports Duncan Gay said that when completed, the program will have boosted road safety protection at 1,340 schools around the state.
“This is about helping to keep our children safe, so I’m delighted that the first of the extra 101 sets of flashing lights we announced in late March are now being installed outside our schools across the state,” said Mr Gay in a statement.
According to Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), 351 child pedestrians under the age of 17 were killed or injured on NSW roads in 2010.
Our youngest pedestrians are often the most vulnerable, for a whole host of reasons.
As well as being smaller and harder to see than other pedestrians, children also don’t yet have an awareness or understanding of the dangers of crossing the road.
This means they may not always choose the safest places to cross roads, or their behaviour may be less easy for motorists to predict.
The rollout of the flashing lights to school zones is aimed at getting drivers to slow down where there are likely to be more young pedestrians.
Mr Gay said that in addition to the lights being installed this year, the NSW government has set aside funds to roll them out in 800 more school zones over the next four years.
He explained that much consideration had gone into which locations were most in need of this extra level of driver alert.
“The sites are chosen based on assessments using the School Pedestrian Risk Model, which considers a range of factors including traffic, approaching speed, pedestrian volumes and the road environment and visibility,” he said.
“Other measures include marked foot crossings, dragon’s teeth markings, traffic lights, pedestrian refuges and an extensive school road safety education program.”
Pedestrians who are injured as a result of a car accident in NSW should be aware that they may be entitled to car accident compensation.
To learn more about whether you or a loved one may be able to make such a claim, get in touch with compensation lawyers in Sydney.