Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . Search

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 3931..


I seek lea MR WOOD (continuing):

ve to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR WOOD: On Wednesday, 11 February, at the request of the Assembly, I undertook to provide to the Assembly the findings of a review of school crossings and traffic management around schools, together with a review of the traffic issues around childcare centres and older persons' facilities and the feasibility of introducing 40-kilometre zones in those areas. A traffic consultant was engaged to undertake the review. I have now tabled that report. The review included surveying all schools in the ACT and referencing interstate practices for school zones, childcare centres and older persons' facilities.

The ACT is performing better than most other jurisdictions in regard to pedestrian road accident trauma. We have one of the lowest pedestrian accident rates in the world, based on measures of either population or registered vehicles. However, increasing numbers of parents are driving their children to schools, particularly in the mornings, and that has created greater potential for conflicts around schools between motorists and pedestrians. The specific concerns raised by schools in the survey responses will be followed up and assessed in more detail. Any traffic measures identified as necessary will be implemented as part of the capital works item of the Department of Urban Services covering traffic management at schools.

In addition, I note that the government will extend the 40-kilometre zone policy to include colleges. A comparison with other state and territory practices for school zones shows that the ACT is reasonably consistent with Australian standards and speed limit practices. Nevertheless, there are two inconsistencies with other jurisdictions in relation to traffic management outside schools. Firstly, the hours of operation of school zones are longer in the ACT than they are in all other states and territories. I believe that provides greater safety for our children, so this government will not change that policy.

The other inconsistency is the use of crossing monitors at primary school crossings. As a result of the review, there is no proposal for the ACT to adopt monitors. However, this issue will be reviewed, if required. The ACT road hierarchy ensures that schools are not located on highways or major arterial roads, as occurs in many other places. The department is reviewing the need for pedestrian traffic light facilities at all existing intersections with traffic lights and it will be implementing necessary works through maintenance programs.

The possibility of installing 40-kilometre speed limits on roads adjacent to centre-based childcare and older persons' facilities has also been reviewed as part of the work of the consultant. The review concluded that pedestrian behaviour at those facilities is different from pedestrian behaviour at schools and that the clusters of arrivals and departures are very small. Consequently, if the government provided 40-kilometre speed limits outside these centres it would create the potential for confusion amongst the general driving population and reduce the effectiveness of the part-time 40-kilometre zones outside schools.

In keeping with the practices of other Australian jurisdictions and Australian standards and in view of our excellent pedestrian safety, there is no basis for applying 40-kilometre


Next page . . . . Previous page. . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . Search