20 January 2012
Motorists are advised the first gazetted day of term one for NSW schools is next Friday and school zones are back in force.
A Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) spokesperson said while many students may not return to school until Monday 30 January the first gazetted school day is Friday 27 January while double demerits will be in force for the Australia Day long weekend.
“Some schools will be closed next Friday but other schools may be open,” the spokesperson said.
“School zones operate on all gazetted school days to ensure the safety of students who may be travelling to or from school.
“Not all motorists will know if the school they are driving past is having a pupil-free day or if students are at school.
“This is why all 40km/h school zones are consistently applied and will be in force from the first gazetted school day of term one.
“Motorists need to be aware of school holiday gazetted dates, especially during double demerit periods, to ensure they keep within the legal speed limit and don’t get caught speeding and run the risk of losing their licence.
“Many school zones have flashing lights, including all zones with speed cameras as a reminder to drivers that the school zone is operating.
“It is important to remember children can often be unpredictable, so motorists need to be observant and slow down when children are around.
“Children are some of our most vulnerable road users - we should all be mindful to take extra care.”
The majority of school zones operate between 8am and 9.30am in the morning and between 2.30pm and 4pm in the afternoon. However, there are a small number of non-standard school zone times in New South Wales.
These zones are identified by red or orange signs which indicate non-standard operating times. Non-standard school zones also have flashing lights as an extra reminder to drivers about the times that they are operating.
There are more than 4,000 school zones in NSW.
Penalties for motorists caught speeding in school zones range from $154 fine and two demerit points to $2,041 fine. In addition motorists may incur up to 14 demerit points during double demerit point periods.
Penalties are higher for heavy vehicles.