Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 7 May 2015) . . Page.. 1466 ..
event and I am urging all Canberrans to support the week by displaying a yellow ribbon on your vehicle and encouraging each other to drive safely for yourselves and for others. Take the share the road pledge and let us make Road Safety Week the start of an improved culture on ACT roads and let us make Canberra roads as safe as we can and really aim for vision zero.
MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (10.16): I rise to add a few words on the matter of road safety. I certainly believe that it is everybody’s business. I want to add my voice of support and recognition for road safety week even though I have left my yellow ribbon on my dresser at home after wearing it all day yesterday. But the spirit is with those that are wearing the yellow ribbon today.
On Monday, 4 May Minister Rattenbury and the Chief Police Officer launched National Road Safety Week here in the ACT. As part of National Road Safety Week the ACT government is partnering with Safer Australian Roads and Highways in promoting National Road Safety Week through the yellow ribbon campaign. The theme of the campaign is “drive so others survive”, with this year’s focus being on protecting children as vulnerable road users.
Before I go to my key interest and what I would like to speak about as minister for education, which is my particular interest in safety around school zones, I note that am very passionate about why road safety is so important and why we need to promote it. At times it comes very close to home. I lost a brother in a road accident. I have seen one of my sons in emergency care and in hospital for some time as a result of a road accident. My husband has had his bike written off. He was not injured. And then we move to off-road accidents that have seen two of my sons in wheelchairs for five months. So road safety is a matter that is worth speaking about. It affects people’s lives each and every day.
But as minister for education I have a particular interest in safety around school zones. Last term, police targeted every school zone and 222 drivers received traffic infringement notices for speeding in ACT school zones. A further 194 drivers received official cautions. The way I see it, that is over 200 drivers putting our school students at risk when they are driving too fast through a school zone.
During last year 827 drivers received traffic infringement notices for speeding near our schools. This is less than the previous year but I would say that 827 is 827 too many. Whilst it is important to acknowledge the reduction from previous years, the number of infringements issued in school zones is still too high. I would encourage all road users to think about school zones and the risk speeding exposes our young people to. Children are our most vulnerable road users because their inexperience and unpredictability expose them to high risks when around traffic. It is important to remember that children, especially primary school children, are not as aware as adults of the dangers associated with crossing the road.
Last week, to mark the return to the school term the Chief Police Officer and I visited Amaroo Primary School to remind parents and road users to be mindful of school