Why the need for speed near schools?
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In South Australia the rules for driving near a school are very clear: a 25km/h speed limit, regardless of the time.
In other Australian states, the 25km/h speed limit only applies during school drop off and pick up times, when there are signs or flashing lights indicating the restrictions.
But in South Australia, you must drive at 25km/h “between School Zone signs that state when children are present. This applies when a child is in the zone, including outside school hours, and whenever a child is on the road, footpath, median strip, or even on a bicycle”.
And to clarify, “a ‘child’ means a person less than 18 years of age, and includes a student of any age wearing a school uniform”.
While in South Australia’s capital Adelaide this week, for the Asia Pacific launch of Ford’s facelift Focus hatchback, the driving instructor reiterated the rule.
“You mean regardless of the time, as long as there are any kids around?” asked a confused motoring writer.
“Yes,” replied the instructor. Before school, after school, in the evening. If the sign says ‘school zone’ then the speed is 25km/h.
In New Zealand, the speed limit for schools during drop off and pick up times is 40km/h with the addition of electronic signs in some areas.
But should we follow Australia and reduce the speed to 25km/h? And how about we copy Adelaide and require that speed limit whenever kids are present?