ON WATCH: Emerald Road Policing Unit Acting Sergeant Matt Walters.
ON WATCH: Emerald Road Policing Unit Acting Sergeant Matt Walters.

Police out in force as students return to school

WHILE students across the region are packing their bags in preparation of the new school year, Emerald police are reminding motorists to remain alert in school zones.

Emerald Road Policing Unit Acting Sergeant Matt Walters said the start of the school year was a timely reminder to all drivers to be wary of school zones across Emerald and surrounding towns.

“The first day back in particular is full of excitement for many children who are starting a new year at school or in some cases starting school for the first time,” he said.

“Drivers need to be aware that school zones are in place during set hours according to each designated sign.

Drivers need to be mindful that some school zones may even have different speed limits such as 40km/h or 60km/h depending on whether the school zone is in a built up area or on a highway.”

Sgt Walters said it was important for drivers to “slow right down” when driving anywhere near a school.

“And be alert to the possibility of a child crossing the road in front of you,” she said.

“Remain patient and remember that our children’s safety is paramount.

“Emerald Police will be conducting patrols throughout the school zones as children return back to school.”

Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Mike Keatin said police would be co-ordinating the back to school road safety campaign, a statewide traffic policing initiative, designed to reduce serious injury and fatal traffic crashes.

“Police emphasis will be focused on, but not limited to, direct community attention to speed, impaired driving, fatigue, seat belt use, driver distraction/inattention, and pedestrian and bicycle safety,” he said.

“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.”

Police will be patrolling school zones as part of the back to school campaign from Tuesday, January 28 to Friday, January 31.