Drivers urged to slow down to save lives as school returns

The City is calling on all Gold Coasters to do the right thing and stay safe on the roads, as restrictions continue to ease and children return to school.

Statistics revealed in the lead up to today’s ‘Fatality Free Friday’ show one in four Queenslanders admits to having taken more risks on the road since coronavirus restrictions were put in place.

Fatality Free Friday is Australia’s largest community-based road safety campaign run annually by the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) to raise road safety awareness.

Deputy Mayor Donna Gates said today’s road safety awareness initiative was timely given the return of schools across the state.

“Today is Fatality Free Friday and I want to remind everyone whether you are driving, riding or walking to pay attention to your surroundings,” she said.

“As restrictions continue to ease and students return to school, drivers are reminded to slow down and take care at all times and especially within school zones.

“I also want to encourage parents of school children to get on board with the City’s Active School Travel Program.

“This means if you have the option of walking, cycling or scootering to school, we encourage you to do so.

“Residents should also consider local park ‘n’ ride options, by parking away from the school and walking your child to the school gate.

“By adopting these healthier travel options, school traffic congestion has been reported to ease by up to 16 per cent – making school zones a much safer environment for all,” she said.

Queensland Police Service Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler advised parents to familiarise themselves with new school pick-up and drop-off practices.

“I urge parents and guardians to familiarise themselves with the new school drop-off and pick-up practices in light of the COVID-19 restrictions and to obey the road rules around school zones, in particular the 40km/h speed zone,” he said.

“A reminder that this 40 kilometre speed zone is in place from 7am to 9am in the morning and again at 2pm and 4pm on school days around all Gold Coast schools.

“We will be coordinating traffic policing initiatives designed to reduce serious injury and fatal traffic crashes. These have commenced around school zones.”

Research published by the ARSF revealed Queenslanders are taking more risks on the roads since the implementation of coronavirus restrictions, including a 42 per cent increase in speeding – the highest in the country.

Whilst speeding is the most common risk taken by Queensland drivers during the pandemic, reports show an increase in residents using their mobile phones behind the wheel, running red lights or stop signs, and driving after a few drinks.

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