Motorists are being warned to slow down to 40km/h in school zones this week as 400,000 students return for term two.

"Pedestrians are our most vulnerable road users and children under 14 are in the highest risk group," Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey said. "On behalf of all West Australians, and particularly parents, I am asking all road uses to pay attention to this speed limit and pay extra attention to the pedestrians using our roads."

Ms Harvey said every 40km/h zone in WA would be fitted with electronic flashing speed signs over the next four years.

She said more than 140 would have been installed by June.

The start of the new term coincides with the second annual United Nations Global Road Safety Week, which will focus on pedestrian safety this year.

"Pedestrians are vulnerable road users because they are unprotected if involved in a crash," Ms Harvey said. "Apart from children, those who are particularly vulnerable are people older than 60 years of age, and people who have had too much to drink."

Only flashing school zone signals surrounding schools that have had students return will be active, as the signals are synchronised with the Education Department curriculum calendar.

The West Australian

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