Motorists and parents are urged to exercise caution in school zones.
Motorists and parents are urged to exercise caution in school zones. Jay Cronan

A need for caution in school zones

WITH the school holidays over and thousands of children on the Coffs Coast returning to school today, motorists are urged to be careful on the roads.

Drivers and parents are reminded to abide by parking rules and keep to the speed limits in school zones.

"Fines and demerit points are higher for offences in school zones than any other areas - and there's a very good reason for that. The rules are there to protect children," Coffs Harbour City Council's Transport and Road Safety Officer Anne Shearer said.

"Council's rangers have scheduled patrols of all school zones and we will also be placing electronic speed signs in school zones that tell drivers their speed as reminders to slow down."

The minimum fine for speeding in school zones is $154 plus two demerit points. The fine for stopping in a school bus zone is $265 plus two demerit points.

Council has installed No Parking areas in most school zones to allow parents to drop off students.

These allow vehicles to stop for two minutes, but the regulations state that drivers must remain within three metres of their car.

The NSW Roads and Maritime Services (formerly the RTA) advises parents to:  drop off and pick up their students on the school side of the road, teach children to get in and out of the car by the 'safety door' - the rear kerb side door and never allow children to get out of the car on the traffic side.

Ambulance Service of NSW offers the following tips and advice to keep children safe especially those starting school for the first time: •  Slow down around school zones, only stop in designated stopping zones, drop off/pick up on the same side of the road as the school, look right, look left and look right again, toys and roads do not mix and• never assume an approaching vehicle can see you or will stop for you



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