Factors affecting speeding in 40 km/h school zones in New South Wales
Keywords: Speed - Travel Speeds
Submission Date: 2011
Factors affecting speeding in 40 km/h school zones in New South Wales Ian Faulks & Julia Irwin & Eugene Chekaluk – Department of Psychology, Macquarie University The management of vehicle speeds within school zones in NSW was examined, using covert naturalistic studies of driver behaviour. Approximately 70.0% of all vehicles entering school zones during the morning school zone period exceeded the 40km/h school zone limit, while 47.6% of vehicles exiting the zone exceeded the limit. During the afternoon school zone period, 78.8% of the vehiceles entering and 75.4% of those exiting school zones exceeded the reduced 40km/h school zone limit. Both male and female drivers enter and exit school zones faster in the afternoons than in the mornings. A flashing sign is more salient in reducing drivers’ speeds on entry into school zones, and there is no difference between an RTA regulatory sign (yellow lights with red annulus around the 40 km/h numeral) and the privately installed Peter Olsen flashing signs (yellow strobe light off the roadway). Any warning signal which visually ‘pops out’ to drivers and is active only during school zone periods appears to lead to improved compliance and a reduction in speeds when entering school zones. Other aspects of the road environment affecting speed compliance in a school zone include presence of traffic calming measures, shorter lengths of school zone, and increased traffic flows. Driver and vehicle factors had no consistent influence on speed limit compliance.