NSW School Zones back in operation from today

STAY ALERT: School Zones play a critical role in making sure  kids have a safe and happy start to the school holidays.

STAY ALERT: School Zones play a critical role in making sure kids have a safe and happy commute to and from school.

Motorists are being urged to slow down and observe the 40km/h speed limit around school zones, which have come back into effect after the school holidays.

School staff return to work on Wednesday ahead of the start of term one, with most state school students returning on Thursday.

The 40km/h school speed zones operate across NSW and ACT at all school sites on gazetted school days (including school development days). Motorists should drive no faster than 40km/h through school zones.

Most school zones operate from 8:00am to 9.30am and from 2.30pm to 4pm on gazetted school days in NSW and from 8am to 4pm in the ACT. School zones operate and are enforced on pupil free days because pupil free days can vary from school to school.

Consistent operation of school zones aims to reduce driver confusion, which improves the safety of school children. There are a small number of non-standard school zone times in NSW and ACT. They are identified by red/orange school zone signs to show non-standard times. Signs at these schools show the times that apply.

Do you find it difficult to keep up with school zone operating times?

Do you have Road Assist from The NRMA? Don’t get caught without it.

- Renew your NRMA Membership
- Join the NRMA
- Find more about Membership options

Tailgating: What’s the big rush?

TAILGATING: How often do you experience this on the road?

TAILGATING: How often do you experience this on the road?

You’d be an extremely lucky driver if you hadn’t experienced tailgating while driving in New South Wales (or pretty much anywhere, really).

We’ve covered the dangers of tailgating before – this blog explains that in this state alone, there are more than 10,000 rear-end crashes every year.

But why are people tailgating? Are drivers in such a rush that they’re willing to put the lives of others (and themselves) at risk?

Just recently on a drive from Sydney to Wollongong, I thought I’d momentarily entered a Steven King movie when I found a massive truck, high beams flashing wildly, bear down on me in the left-hand lane and almost swallow me and my family.

With the cruise control set on exactly the speed limit (110km/h), I was following a steady stream of Friday night traffic and had nowhere to go.

Why was that truck driver in such a hurry? Was he running behind schedule? Was he desperate to get home from work? Or did he just like to intimidate other drivers in his big rig?

I’ll never know because I didn’t get a chance to chat with him, thankfully. If you are the victim of aggressive tailgating, don’t intimidate the driver. Call the police if you fear you’re in danger, or simply let them pass if you have the chance.

Of course you can switch out ‘truck’ with just about any vehicle and it’s likely to be a familiar story to many who use the road. It’s one that is in no way limited to heavy vehicles.

It’s also not just on highways that tailgating is a problem – it’s just that the speeds involved substantially increase the level of danger.

But we experience forms of this behaviour every day. At the lowest end it’s annoying and dangerous. At the extreme end it can be deadly.

Have you experienced tailgating on the road and how often? Who do you find are the main offenders and why do you think they are in such a hurry?

Do you have Road Assist from The NRMA? Don’t get caught without it.

- Renew your NRMA Membership
- Join the NRMA
- Find more about Membership options

Roundabout rules

Dollarphotoclub_8540108

The rules for using a roundabout are quite simple. But, as common as roundabouts are, the number of crashes at intersections with roundabouts suggests that when we approach one, we still aren’t quite clear on the rules.

Part 9 of the Road Rules 2014 details the legislation that covers roundabouts. Motorists should know what a roundabout is and what they’re for. It is the way they should be approached and used that seems to be causing the confusion.

Rule 114 explains how to give way when entering or driving in a roundabout:

Giving way when entering or driving in a roundabout

A driver entering a roundabout must give way to:

(a)  any vehicle in the roundabout, and
(b)  a tram that is entering or approaching the roundabout.

For this rule, give way means the driver must slow down and, if necessary, stop to avoid a collision.

There is no specific legislation stating one must give way to the other if entering the roundabout at the same time, only that you must give way to any vehicle already in the roundabout.

However, common sense must prevail. As the rule states, a driver must slow down enough to be able to stop to avoid a collision if necessary.

Many drivers enter/approach roundabouts too fast and if there was a collision and it was a result of them not slowing to be able to avoid a collision, then they may face penalties from the authorities.

These are the rules and you can be fined for not abiding by them. If involved in a crash, you might be liable when you thought you weren’t.

View the full road rules for roundabouts.

Have you had problems at roundabouts? Are the rules clear enough and easy to follow?

Do you have The NRMA‘s legendary Road Assist? Don’t get caught without it.

- Renew your NRMA Membership
- Join the NRMA
- Find more about Membership options

Think twice this Australia Day holiday period

12485966_10153525960551185_3988080490460250303_o

We remind motorists that double demerits apply from 22 January to 26 January 2016 inclusive. Please drive safely and take extra care on the roads. 

On 4 January 2016 the standard penalty for mobile phone offences rose to four demerit points. Since the end of last year, mobile phone offences have been included in double demerit periods. This means those caught talking or texting illegally while driving during this Australia Day public holiday will incur eight demerit points – a huge amount when the threshold on unrestricted licences is 13 points.

The double demerit point scheme now applies for the following types of offences:

  • Speeding
  • Illegal use of mobile phones
  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Riding without a helmet

The scheme is designed to encourage safe and responsible driving. Working in conjunction with financial penalties, demerit points provide a strong incentive to drive within the law.

Double demerit periods were introduced in 1997 in NSW. By law, double demerit periods must be advertised and awareness campaigns are co-ordinated with traditional enforcement and increased police numbers. See the RMS Demerits points page for a full rundown of offences and penalties.

Do you think the Double Demerits scheme is an effective way of preventing dangerous driving?

Do you have Road Assist from The NRMA? Don’t get caught without it.

- Renew your NRMA Membership
- Join the NRMA
- Find more about Membership options

Can you participate in this study to improve child safety?

GREATER GOOD: The information from this research study will benefit others who use child restraint systems by making the materials that are supplied with restraints easier to understand and thus safer for children.

GREATER GOOD: The information from this research study will benefit others who use child restraint systems by making the materials that are supplied with restraints easier to understand and thus safer for children.

Neuroscience Research Australia in Randwick, Sydney is running a child car seat study, looking at the factors that help or hinder proper child car seat use, and is looking for volunteers to be part of the study.

The child car seat study is split into 2 parts (but you will be asked to participate in only one).

The first part of the study will be running focus groups to find out what people think about current child car seat information.

The second part is a process of consumer-testing. Consumer-testing involves asking participants to evaluate new product information and give feedback on whether they think it can be improved.

For both studies, participants will be reimbursed $25 for their travel costs and provided with morning or afternoon tea.

Register your interest by visiting the NeuRA website or call 61 2 9399 1000 or email: info@NeuRA.edu.au.

To participate in this project you need to meet the following inclusion criteria:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Hold a current drivers licence
  • Conversant in English

Neuroscience Research Australia is one of the largest research institutes in Australia dedicated to the study of the brain and nervous system. It has an international reputation for research excellence.