School zones have lower speed limits before and after school in order to keep children safe and QUT is looking for a range of drivers to take part in its study so it can propose ways to encourage drivers to comply with the speed limit.
PhD student from the Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q), Suhaila Abdul Hanan, said the number of drivers being booked for speeding within school zones had steadily increased over the past few years: 12,335 in 2009, almost 16,000 in 2010, and 8,822 in just the first six months of last year.
“As these figures are based on the number of drivers caught speeding, the real figure is probably somewhat higher,” she said.
“This is cause for concern, because the likelihood of pedestrian fatalities increases markedly for every kilometre over the speed limit a vehicle travels.
“Children aged five to nine are particularly vulnerable because they’re harder to see and less able to deal with traffic. While children in the 10 to 14 year old age bracket often understand how to cross the road safely, they may not always do so.”
Ms Abdul Hanan said driver behaviour in school zones could be influenced by a number of factors including the volume of traffic, the number of children about, habitual behaviours, being in a hurry, and unfamiliarity with the road.
Her research will provide insights into why some drivers always comply with the school zone speed limit, some never, and others only sometimes.
Ms Abdul Hanan is looking for drivers over 18 years of age who hold a valid Australian driver’s licence to undertake a two-part online survey. The time needed to complete both of the surveys is 30 minutes and the results should be available in about three months.
“It is my hope that this research will provide information that will help to make school zones safer places for children.”
Drivers who would like to participate in the survey can contact Ms Abdul Hanan at CARRS-Q at email@example.com or access the survey directly on http://is.gd/vEjP9D
Media contact: Rose Trapnell, QUT media officer, 07 3138 2361 or 0407 585 901 firstname.lastname@example.org