Schools to have more flashing lights for more safety

SAFETY: MP Adam Marshall with Inverell High School principal Penny Colley and 2016 captains Will McAuliffe and Hannah Wales.

SAFETY: MP Adam Marshall with Inverell High School principal Penny Colley and 2016 captains Will McAuliffe and Hannah Wales.

SCHOOLS across the Northern Tablelands will become safer than ever, with construction to begin on three extra sets of flashing lights over the next six weeks.

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said the additional sets of lights will help improve safety in and around schools in Inverell and Armidale.

“It’s been proven that highly visible lights make drivers stop and pay attention,” he said.

“If a car is travelling the right speed – it will stop almost eight metres sooner than a vehicle travelling at 50 km/h. When a child’s life is at stake, every metre counts.”

Construction at Inverell High and Ross Hill Public Schools will be between Monday, February 13 and Friday March 10. 

While the windows may be wide – the work will be quick, with construction and testing expected to take one shift outside of school hours. Work will take place between 7am and 5pm on weekdays, and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.

It’s been proven that highly visible lights make drivers stop and pay attention.

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall

Mr Marshall said the locations of the second sets of lights for each of the schools had been carefully picked for best effect.

“These lights will go where they will do the most good – with drivers approaching Armidale High slowing down from highway speeds, and Inverell students contending with neighbourhood traffic,” he said.

“The government and local school principals have considered a number of risks, from car density, speed and the number of students, to make sure these lights go to where they’re needed most.”

While all schools across the Northern Tablelands already have one set of lights fitted, Mr Marshall said these supplementary lights would cover additional entrances. The project is funded by the state government’s $5 million Community Road Safety Fund, paid for by fines from red light and speed cameras. 

The NSW Roads and Maritime Service states heft fines are associated with drivers who do not heed flashing lights in school zones.

A fine of $433 and four demerit points can be incurred if a driver is found in breach of the rules. School zones are enforced on government gazetted school days to ensure operation dates and times are consistent and easy to follow.