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Speeding Behaviour in School Zones.

Ellison, A, Greaves, S, Daniels, R (Peer reviewed)

School Safety

ACRS conference 2011

Introduction: Speeding in school zones is a significant and sensitive safety issue. School zones have high levels of pedestrian activity that are particularly vulnerable in the event of a crash. Yet, other than from targeted police enforcement there is little information on day-to-day speeding in school zones.

Methods: Using GPS, spatial, demographic and psychological data we analyse the speeding behaviour in school zones of 147 motorists in Sydney over a period of several weeks. The focus is on both the duration and magnitude of speeding and whether this is related to particular driver, trip, and roadway characteristics, with a particular emphasis on the most prolific speeders.

Results: Overall, 23 percent of the distance travelled in school zones is above the speed limit, higher than for any speed limit other than motorways. Additionally, all drivers exceed the speed limit and there are a small but noteworthy number of drivers who consistently exceed the speed limit for as much as half the distance travelled.

Conclusions: Despite efforts at reducing speeding in school zones, these results show that speeding remains very common. The consequences of speeding in school zones make it particularly important that additional resources are put into reducing speeding. The results suggest that targeting the road environment such as transitions to school zones may be more effective than psychological/personality-based campaigns in changing drivers’ speeding behaviour.