By David Nankervis
Published: Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Tragically, 90 young lives have been lost on South Australian roads in the past decade, figures obtained by RAA have revealed.
The shocking loss of lives among those aged 18 and younger between 2011 and 2020 has prompted RAA to plead with drivers to remember that tens of thousands of students are returning to school today.
RAA Senior Manager of Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain says speeding, running red lights and failing to give way can have potentially catastrophic consequences.
He’s urging drivers to be vigilant around schools and be aware of the relevant road rules.
“Pedestrians – especially young children – are among the most vulnerable road users and RAA urges motorists to exercise vigilance and caution around schools,’’ he says.
“Those who are driving younger students to school should also be aware of the laws around having their precious cargo properly restrained, including the use of booster seats and whether to place them in rear or front seats.
“Some of the older students may be on a learner’s permit and driving to school for the first time, so mature motorists should exercise caution and patience around them.’’
Mr Mountain is reminding motorists to follow the 25km/h limit when students are present in school zones, and warning motorists to watch out for children at these locations and be ready to stop.
He also says school crossings will once again be in use during drop off and pick up times.
“Be aware that pedestrian crossings with traffic signals on major roads near schools will be in more frequent use from today,” he says.
“And remember, parked vehicles can make it more difficult for drivers to see younger children trying to cross the road, and be careful not to double park or park in driveways when dropping off or picking up the kids.’’
Traffic volumes will also be impacted by the commencement of term two, Mr Mountain says.
“With the return to school comes an increase in traffic, so commuters should allow more travelling time if they’ve been leaving a little later over the past couple of months,’’ he says.
Mr Mountain says RAA will help to educate more than 20,000 primary aged students and more than 2000 pre-school children about road safety this school year.
RAA’s Street Smart Primary educators will visit more than 250 schools and 50 kindergartens across SA.