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 Perth schools.

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

Other dangerous behaviours witnessed by parents include: 
  • 68 per cent have seen speeding in a school zone
  • 66 per cent have seen a near-miss involving a car or other vehicle
  • 53 per cent have seen a near-miss involving a pedestrian or cyclist
  • 38 per cent have seen road rage

RAC General Manager Corporate Affairs 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.

“It’s also important to ditch the distractions and keep a look out for pedestrians and cyclists, as we want everyone to start the new school year safely.”

RAC’s survey also revealed 85 per cent of parents have seen heavy congestion or traffic jams outside their school, with the average school pick-up and drop-off times varying between primary and high schools.

   Average drop-off time  Average pick-up time 
 Primary School  6.9 minutes 12.5 minutes
 High School  5.5 minutes  11.1 minutes


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.”

RAC’s tips for drivers: 

  • Don’t rush your drive and stay alert
  • Keep a look out for pedestrians and cyclists, and be prepared to stop for them
  • Slow down and be particularly alert outside schools, at pedestrian crossings, intersections and between cars or behind buses
  • Take actions to minimise distractions while driving, and focus on the road

RAC’s tips for students and parents: 

  • Always check for oncoming traffic
  • Walk straight and with care
  • Try to avoid crossing from between parked cars
  • Cross at designated pedestrian crossings
  • If you can’t cross at a designated crossing, take steps to ensure you can be seen by drivers
  • Keep your eyes on the road instead of on your smartphone
  • Be extra cautious when walking with headphones because it’s harder to hear traffic around you


RAC Media Contact: Caitlin Barr, 0401 703 719 or media@rac.com.au