EMBARGOED UNTIL April 16, 2018 07:00 AM
THE EVIDENCE IS IN AS 40kph SCHOOL ZONES BEGIN
A recent global study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has confirmed what many in road safety organizations have known for a very long time - A 10% increase in the speed limit leads to a 40 per cent increase in fatal crashes.
With the end of school holidays upon us, it’s critical that we observe the 40 kph School Zones again.
Speeding is unquestionably recognised as a major factor in both the number and severity of traffic crashes. Pedestrians in particular are most vulnerable as they are five times more likely to be killed if hit by a car traveling at 50 km / hour compared with 30 km / hour says the OECD report.
As a vehicle’s speed increases, so does the distance travelled during the driver’s reaction time and the distance needed to stop.
Road Safety Education Limited (RSE) is a not for profit organisation committed to reducing road trauma among young drivers, by educatinghigh school students through its highly acclaimed RYDA program.
RYDA provides powerful workshops to change the way young people think about road safety including the impact of speeding. RYDA’s sessions include a high impact, practical demonstration of the effects of speed on stopping distances.
At RYDA, students attend six interactive sessions at a dedicated venue over the course of a school day. In small peer groups, they are challenged to change the way they think about road safety; devising personalised strategies, gaining an understanding of their individual risk profile and getting tips from road safety experts on how to protect themselves, their friends and family.
RYDA is made possible through the strong support of corporate partners, BOC, Toyota Australia, Bridgestone and MTAA Super as well as community partner, Rotary.
“Motorists often find the 40kmph school zones frustrating yet they are so important and have proved to be a highly effective way of keeping children safe” said Greg Rappo, RSE Program Director.
“There has been a 30 per cent reduction in casualties in school zone areas across the country since they were introduced in 2001. Travelling at lower speeds improves a driver's ability to stop and avoid crashes, especially in areas of high pedestrian activity”, continued Mr Rappo.
“As your speed increases - so does the distance you travel while your brain is processing information and reacting to it – and so does the distance you need to stop. The average time it takes for most drivers to react to a risky situation on the road is 1.5 seconds.”
“At the time of day when the speed zones come into effect early morning and mid afternoon, students are often distracted – catching up with class mates at the start of the day and tired and perhaps not fully concentrating after a full day in the classroom.”
“Schools zones are not just about speed, drivers need to be extra vigilant managing distractions. Those most at risk during these periods are our children, their parents, teachers and other school staff. They are directly in harm's way”.
A driver who is fatigued or distracted (eg, using a mobile phone or affected by drugs or alcohol) may take as long as three critical seconds to react.
Further information: www.rse.org.au
Road Safety Education Limited, a national not for profit organisation is committed to reducing trauma on our roads by educating young people in senior high school, through its flagship program RYDA.
0407 161 789
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