Driving in School Zones in ACT: A Guide From LTrent

Driving in School Zones in ACT

Driving in School Zones in ACT | Ltrent Blog

As we begin the new school year in 2024, it’s vital for drivers in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to be well-versed with the rules, dates, and times for driving near schools. School zones are crucial areas where extra caution is required to ensure the safety of our children.

LTrent Driving School, with over five decades of experience in driver training, is here to guide you through these rules and help you navigate school zones with confidence and responsibility.

ACT School Zone Dates & Times 2024

Understanding when school zones are in effect is key to safe driving. Here are the ACT school term dates for 2024:

Term 1Tuesday 30 January to Friday 12 April
Term 2Monday 29 April to Friday 5 July
Term 3Monday 22 July to Friday 27 September
Term 4Monday 14 October to Friday 20 December

During these dates, school zone speed limits are enforced. According to the ACT Government’s guidelines, 40 km/h school zones operate between 8 am to 4 pm on all gazetted school days, including staff development days (pupil free days)​​.

Driving in School Zones for the First Time in Canberra / ACT

For first-time drivers in Canberra or anywhere in the ACT, driving in school zones can be a bit daunting. Remember that school zones are marked with zone speed limit signs, often accompanied by flashing lights, indicating a 40 km/h speed limit. These zones are designed to slow traffic near high schools, public schools, and within school priority enrolment areas, enhancing safety for all students.

Tips for First-Time Drivers:

  • Stay Alert: Keep an eye out for school zone signs and flashing lights.
  • Adhere to Speed Limits: Always follow the 40 km/h speed limit during zone times.
  • Watch for Children: Be especially cautious as children may be present even if they’re not immediately visible.

Do School Zones Apply During School Holidays in ACT?

A common question is whether school zones are in effect during school holidays. In the ACT, school zone speed limits do not apply during school holidays. However, it’s crucial to always drive safely and be aware of any changes, as some schools may have different term dates. During school holidays, roadside speed limit signs are usually folded up, indicating that school zones are not in use​​.

Safe Driving Practices Around Schools in ACT

The times when schools open and close are notably hectic, with an increase in both pedestrian and vehicle traffic around school premises. As drivers, we carry the crucial responsibility of ensuring the safety of all children in these areas. Here are some key guidelines to follow:

  • Extra Caution in School Zones: Always be extra careful in 40km/h school zones. These are in effect on every gazetted school day and are crucial for child safety.
  • Smart Parking Choices: Even if it means a longer walk to the school gate, choose to park safely. It’s better to walk a bit more than to compromise safety.
  • Follow Parking Signs Diligently: These signs are designed keeping children’s safety in mind. Adherence to them is non-negotiable.
  • Strictly No Double Parking: Double parking is not only illegal, but it also puts children at great risk by obscuring visibility and potentially leading them into harm’s way.
  • Be a Role Model: Children learn by observing. Display safe and considerate behaviour when driving around schools. This teaches them good practices.
  • Careful Near Crossings: Reduce your speed near school crossings and be vigilant.
  • Allocate Sufficient Time: Rushing can lead to careless mistakes.

Practices to Avoid at All Costs:

  • Illegal Parking: Never park in the school driveway, near school crossings, in school bus bays, or in ‘No parking’ zones.
  • Reasons to Avoid Double Parking: It not only blocks the vision of other drivers but also forces children onto the road and obstructs traffic flow.

By adhering to these guidelines, you contribute significantly to a safer environment around schools. Remember, a little extra care goes a long way in protecting our children and ensuring a safer community.

Get Driving Lessons with Ltrent

At LTrent Driving School, we emphasise the importance of understanding and respecting school zones for the safety of our community’s children. Our comprehensive driver training program, developed over 50 years, focuses on safe driving principles, preparing you for any driving situation, including navigating school zones. Stay informed, drive safely, and contribute to a safer environment for our young learners.

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