12-hour-go-slow: Plan to extend school zone hours

MORE than half the motorists busted speeding in Queensland school zones have been nabbed driving at least 13km/h over the speed limit, including a shocking number who were caught driving more than 40km/h over.

As students across the state return to classes today, The Courier-Mail can reveal about 18,900 speeding fines - or more than 90 every school day - were dished out to dodgy drivers last financial year.

This included 45 drivers who were slapped with fines for driving more than 40km/h over the school zone speed limits, which are mostly 40km/h.

More than 18,000 motorists were caught speeding in school zones last financial year. Picture: Stewart McLean
More than 18,000 motorists were caught speeding in school zones last financial year. Picture: Stewart McLean

Another 152 fines were given out to motorists who were caught driving between 31 to 40km/h over the limit.

Of those motorists caught out in 2018-19, about 60 per cent - or more than 11,000 - were clocked driving at least 13km/h over the speed limit.

Assistant Police Commissioner Mike Keating yesterday warned that police would be out in force over the next week in a statewide traffic policing initiative.

"I urge parents and guardians to familiarise themselves with school drop-off and pick-up practices and to obey the road rules around school zones, in particular the 40km/h speed zone," he said.

Assistant Police Commissioner Mike Keating yesterday urged drivers to familiarise themselves with school zone speed limits.
Assistant Police Commissioner Mike Keating yesterday urged drivers to familiarise themselves with school zone speed limits.

The revelations come as the Greens today announce an election pledge to trial extended school zone times so that they run between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week.

As they ramp up their campaign to seize marginal wards in the looming Brisbane council election, the minor party will also call for 1000 new pedestrian safety crossings in the next council term under a plan costed at $92.7 million.

Greens candidate for Coorparoo Ward Sally Dillon said their plans to extend school zone hours reflected the reality of modern family life.

"Many students come early or stay late for before and after-school care or extra-curricular activities and sport training," she said.

"Having a bigger window where school zone limits apply will make it so much easier for motorists to stick to the speed limit."

In 2018-19, the Brisbane City police division had the most speedsters in school zones, with 1,814 fines issued.

This was followed by Upper Mount Gravatt with 1523 fines and Broadbeach, on the Gold Coast, with 1284 speeding tickets.

Last financial year alone, there were 32 motorists who were caught speeding more than 40km/h over the speed limit in the Lowood police division.

The 18,900 speeding fines issued in school zones in 2018-19 was down about 10 per cent from the previous year.


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