A state government initiative to install flashing lights around NSW schools is to be accelerated in a bid to improve road safety around our youngest pedestrians.
In a joint statement today (June 11), premier Barry O’Farrell, treasurer Mike Baird and roads minister Duncan Gay announced that an extra $13 million of funding would be provided in the next state budget for a program aimed at alerting motorists to the need to slow down in school zones.
That will increase the flashing lights initiative’s funding to $32.5 million and will see every school in the state receive the safety warning lights by December 2015.
“This is a landmark decision which will further enhance road safety and the safety of children around schools,” said Mr O’Farrell.
“Our children are our most vulnerable and inexperienced road users – the NSW government is committed to doing whatever we can to protect them.”
There are more than 3,000 schools in NSW and the new funding boost will mean that 1,500 of those schools that had not been scheduled to receive flashing lights will now get them.
“Flashing lights are one of the most effective tools we have to slow down motorists near schools – I’m delighted we’re able to extend this successful program to every school,” Mr O’Farrell stated.
Reduced speed zones operate at roads around school sites across NSW, with a 40km/h speed limit in place during drop-off and pick-up times on school days.
It is easy enough for drivers with children to remember these, but for others, flashing lights can be an effective way to remind them of the need to slow down and take extra care around the youngest pedestrians.
This is particularly the case when driving in unfamiliar areas where the location of schools is unknown to the motorist.
Drivers need to be vigilant around all pedestrians, but particularly the young and more vulnerable ones.
Slower speed zones mean that motorists have more time to react and to avoid collisions with other road users – including pedestrians.
When the worst does happen, car accident injuries to pedestrians can at times be very serious.
In NSW, pedestrians who have suffered such injuries may be entitled to make a claim for car accident compensation.