RAC is urging motorists to take extra care on our roads this morning, with hundreds of thousands of students heading back-to-class for the final school term of the year.
Reduced speed limits of 40km an hour now apply in school zones between the hours of 7:30 and 9:00am, as well as 2:30 and 4:00pm.
Tragically, last year 40 people under the age of 18 were either killed or seriously injured on WA roads while walking or riding their bikes.
RAC General Manager Corporate Affairs Will Golsby said it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure our children make it to school and back again, safely.
“Research shows pedestrians and cyclists are twice as likely to be killed when hit by a car travelling at 50km an hour, compared to 40km an hour,” Mr Golsby said.
“These are extremely vulnerable road users who have little to no protections in a crash — it only takes a split-second for a tragedy to occur.
“We’re urging everyone to slow down, be patient and use extra caution around schools even when travelling at 40km an hour.”
Between 2014 and 2018, of the pedestrians under the age of 18 who were killed or seriously injured on WA roads:
- Half were hit by vehicles while crossing the road
- One in every five occurred between the hours of 3:00 and 4:00pm
“Whether you’re driving, walking or cycling, ditch the distractions, take care and look out for each other,” Mr Golsby said.
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