‘Must stop:’ School zone warning after surge

Motorists have been warned to follow road rules ahead of students returning to class this week. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Tertius Pickard

An alarming rise in speeding fines and red-light infringements were issued in school zones in January 2023, with NSW motorists urged to heed road rules ahead of students returning to classrooms.

Across just three school days in January 2023, 773 drivers were hit with red-light infringements, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 16 per cent, with more than 3200 speeding fines issued in the same period, the NRMA reports.

On average, 1073 fines were issued across the state during school zone times over the same three days, which was 70 per cent higher than the average for February.

More than 700 NSW drivers were hit with red-light penalties over just three school days in January 2023. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Tertius Pickard

NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury urged motorists to closely follow road rules once school students returned to classrooms this week.

“Too many people are taking risks during school pick-up and drop-off times and this behaviour must stop as we know that it is during these periods when children are most vulnerable on our roads,” he said.

“We need to ensure complacency does not set in after the long summer break and that motorists adjust their behaviour.”

The NRMA also revealed the top location for speed camera and red-light breaches across NSW, with the motoring body urging the NSW government to conduct an “immediate safety audit” of the infringement hotspots.

The camera located at Woodville Rd Chester Hill southbound caught the most amount of speeding drivers in school zones urging January 2023, with 229 infringements.

NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury urged people to follow road rules Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi

This was followed by Princes Highway Kogarah northbound and southbound (151 offences), Pittwater Rd North Narrabeen northbound and southbound (146 offences), and Victoria Rd Ryde eastbound and westbound (140 offences).

In terms of red-light infringements, 139 offences were recorded at Chalmers St Redfern northbound, with motorists clocking up 114 penalties at Borella Rd Albury westbound and 90 at Meredith St Bankstown northbound.

School zones will return across NSW from Tuesday between 8am to 9.30am and from 2.30pm to 4pm, with areas marked by flashing lights and signs.

On Monday, the NSW government also announced a $10m Active Transport to School program to encourage children to walk, scooter, or ride their bikes to school.

The program will help fund projects like widening footpaths, upgrading crossings or planting more trees to encourage kids to walk or ride to school.