With hundreds of students heading back to school this week drivers are being urged to drive carefully to avoid incidents.

No more zooming through school zones – school’s back, and with it come hundreds of students who can act unpredictably around traffic.

“Children may duck out onto the road or misjudge traffic, but by slowing down just a few kilometres you could help prevent a tragedy,” says Acting Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister John McVeigh. “The safety of all road users is a priority and police will be out in force to help keep our children safe as students return to school.”

Obey all road rules, including reduced speed limits in school areas, and take extra care around schools.

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said that in 2013 police issued more than 27,500 traffic infringements across Queensland for speeding in school zones. “Of that number, 5,571 traffic infringements were issued from 1 October to 31 December, demonstrating motorists were paying attention to the reduced speed limit around Queensland schools during the peak times,” Commissioner Stewart says. “It is clear driving at lower speeds causes fewer crashes because road users and pedestrians have more time to make decisions. 

McVeigh adds that the Government is taking extra action on road safety, including installing flashing lights at school zones. “We are on track to deliver our $10 million election commitment to install flashing lights in 300 school zones over 4 years,” he says. “Flashing lights have been installed at more than 180 school zones since the program started.”

“We urge motorists to be extra cautious and drive slowly when approaching children riding their bicycles or walking on the street or near buses,” Commissioner Stewart says. “Following the directions of school crossing supervisors and allowing a little extra time for your trip due to the increase in traffic around schools will go a long way towards ensuring the safety of children on their way to or from school.”