Many residents are finding themselves confused by the operational hours and road rules of school zones a Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee inquiry has found.
Charles Casuscelli RFD MP, State Member for Strathfield, agreed with The Joint Standing Committee on Road Safety which found that the main concern residents had with the school zones is the confusion surrounding when they are in operation.
"I have had many people contact my office or approach me when I am out around the Strathfield electorate about this issue," Mr Casuscelli said. "Nine times out of ten, people are speaking about how confusing the current system is. The average motorist who doesn't have children in school is unsure about when school holidays start and finish."
"A lot of people are also unaware that school zones apply on school days that are pupil free. Also, as private schools and public schools have slightly different term dates, commuters often find themselves in a situation where half of the schools have a school zone in place and the other half don't."
The Report recommends the installation of flashing lights at all schools in NSW, to assist motorists in knowing when the 40km/hr limit applies.
"Lately we have seen a lot more signs with flashing lights being raised to inform drivers when a school zone is in place," Mr Casuscelli commented."Most people agree that this is a great help."
The report also made recommendations including the improved safety awareness campaigns and initiatives as well as educating motorists more thoroughly on school zones as part of driver education licensing requirements.
The Committee found that the school zones have been highly successful since they were first introduced in 1992 by the Coalition State Government under Premier John Fahey. Since then there has been a 45% decrease in pedestrian casualties across the 10,000 operational school zones in NSW.