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NSW drivers slow to get the message about school zones

Figures for school zone speeding fines over the same period in Victoria and Queensland showed “these states don’t encounter the same spike in school zone speeding infringements when school terms resume as NSW”, a statement from GoGet said.

NSW is the only state so far to have flashing lights and “dragon’s teeth” markings on the roadway at more than 6000 school zones.

The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) said there are 127 fixed digital speed cameras installed in NSW, of which 57 are in school zones.

“The school zones were selected according to a number of criteria concerning the risks young pedestrians are exposed to, including a combination of high traffic volumes, the level of pedestrian use and crash history,” the RMS said.

The RMS does not release figures for speed camera offences week-by-week.

However, GoGet was able to analyse the data because camera infringements are sent to the car share firm before being allocated to the designated driver.

“After reviewing the data from the first two terms, there’s a clear spike in school zone speeding offences right after schools go back,” said Josh Brydges, GoGet’s locations and transportation planner.

“Whether drivers aren’t aware schools have returned, or have gotten used to travelling at a faster pace, we’re urging all road users to slow down around schools. The difference between a car travelling at 50km/h and 40km/h could save a child’s life.”

The car share service said the total number of infringements were comparatively small “considering the size of our member base and the one million trips they take every year”.

“Based on our research to date we believe car share drivers are generally safer than the average motorist,” Mr Brydges said.

Independent testing shows a car travelling 50km/h can take up to an extra nine metres to come to a complete stop versus a car travelling at 40km/h.

The latest figures show approximately $223 million is raked in each year from speed cameras in NSW alone (not including tickets issued by highway patrol).

That figure includes about $22 million from school zone speed cameras accrued by about 80,000 motorists each year, an average of $275 per ticket, indicating most fines are for speeding not more than 10kmh over the limit.

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