Driving Safely When Picking up Children from School

Children are smaller and harder to see than adults and can behave unpredictably near roads.So how can you take extra caution in school zones?

Rules for drivers

When dropping off or picking up children in a school zone, drivers must:

  • Only stop in the designated area, which is on the school side of the road and clearly signposted ‘Drop Off and Pick Up Zone’.
  • Remain in your vehicle at all times and ensure the handbrake is firmly applied.
  • Make sure your children only use the footpath-side doors when getting in or out of your vehicle.
  • Never double park or do a U-turn in a school zone.

Rules for children

  • If your child is waiting to be picked up, ensure they know to remain on the footpath until their ride arrives. 
  • When being dropped off, keep their seatbelt buckled up until the vehicle has stopped.
  • Ensure they enter or exit the vehicle via the footpath-side doors.

Obey the signs

There are a variety of signs within a school zone that drivers must obey at all times or risk substantial fines and loss of demerit points on their licence. These signs include:

  • Drop Off And Pick Up Zone – Only stop here if you are picking up or dropping off children.
  • No Stopping – Do not stop here at any time, as this area is to keep sight lines clear for drivers and pedestrians.
  • No Parking – You may stop here for a maximum of two minutes to pick up or drop off children, but you must remain with your vehicle.
  • Bus Zone – Do not stop here at any time, as this area is for buses only.

Obey the speed limit

The speed limit in a school zone is obviously less than elsewhere and will vary depending on the time of day, the kind of road the school is on and the volume of traffic that uses it. Speed limit signs include:

  • Advanced warning signs - These alert drivers that a school zone is ahead and to be prepared to slow down.
  • Permanent 40 kph signs – These are on roads where the speed limit outside the school zone is 50 kph.
  • Time-based 40 kph signs – These are on roads where the speed limit is normally 60 or 70 kph. They apply from 8am to 9.30am and 2.30pm to 4pm.
  • Time-based 60 kph signs – These are usually in rural areas where the speed limit is normally 80 to 100 kph. They also apply from 8am to 9.30am and 2.30pm to 4pm.
  • Variable speed limit signs – These are electronic signs on roads with high traffic volumes. The speed limit shown will vary depending on traffic numbers and the time of day.
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