THE largest survey of school zone signs ever conducted in NSW and the ACT has found 45 per cent (45%) of schools surveyed along the NSW North Coast still have faded signs that are hard to see.
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Ten schools from the Mid-North Coast were identified in the figures including Telegraph Point and Comboyne Primary Schools.

The NRMA’s Keep School Zones Safe survey received more than 900 responses from schools and P&C committees about the condition of school zone signs at 537 schools, 78 of which were in NSW North Coast.

The responses showed that over three-quarters (76%) of signs surveyed in the region had not been upgraded to the Australian-standard, fluorescent yellow green colour.

NRMA Motoring & Services President Wendy Machin said school zone safety was a priority with thousands of students across the region back at school for Term 4.

“Signs at 17 per cent of North Coast schools captured in the survey were also faded or hard to see because they were obscured by trees, power poles or other roadside clutter,” Ms Machin said. “This is not good enough; every single school in the north coast should, at the very least, have well-maintained and highly visible signs that meet the Australian standard NRMA recommends.

“The report shows school zone safety is a major concern, with over two-thirds (69%) of responses received from the region wanting safety issues around schools addressed. “

Comments from a Comboyne School representative that were published in the survey identified congestion as a considerable safety concern.

The NRMA’s Keep School Zones Safe survey also identified unclear road markings in school zones along the NSW North Coast.

‘Our school is in a rural area and opposite the school zone is a dairy. The 2 mini buses have to do a 3 point turn in the driveway of the dairy, reversing back towards the school bus zone to turn around. This area is quite congested with parents picking up students and cars parked on a grass verge opposite the school. I feel this not quite adequate or completely safe.’

The condition of the road outside the Primary School at Telegraph Point was also highlighted as an issue in the survey.

‘Our small school is on Mooney Street Telegraph Point, the road out the front of the school is very badly damaged as we are at the end of a t-intersection, and on route to a caravan park so we get large cars towing caravans turning right and cars and trucks absolutely fly past all hours of the day whether its school safety times or not, local police are supposed to patrol the area, but, of course they don’t.’

The responses from the NSW North Coast report that almost three-quarters of schools in the region (72%) lack school crossing supervisors or lollipop people during busy drop off and pick-up periods, and a staggering 78 per cent of schools lack flashing lights.

The survey found:

– 45 per cent of 40km/h painted road mark badges;

– 23 per cent of zebra crossings; and

– 32 per cent of dragon’s teeth road markings were worn and faded.

Faded and worn: dragon’s teeth road markings

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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