AAMI statistics reveal importance of safe driving as school holidays end

Alongside regular fleet maintenance, comprehensive road safety education is one of the best ways in which fleet managers can aim to mitigate the risk that their drivers will get into an accident.

This is particularly important to keep in mind during the last few days of January and the early weeks of February, when children are returning to school after the summer holidays and the roads are more congested than usual.

According to new statistics released by AAMI on January 29, 33 per cent of collisions with pedestrians or cyclists recorded in South Australia during the 2012 school year occurred between the hours of 7am and 9am, or 3pm to 5pm.

AAMI spokesperson Reuben Aitchison says the results are proof that motorists need to take more care when travelling through school zones, and ensure that they are sticking to the posted speed limit at all time.

Disconcertingly, the AAMI statistics also revealed that 12 per cent of drivers in Adelaide admit to having ignored posted speed restrictions when travelling through a school zone.

"It is clear that on any given day, a large number of drivers are simply going too fast near schools when restrictions apply," said Mr Atchison.

Mr Atchinson went on to urge drivers, as well as pedestrians, to be extra vigilant over the coming weeks to help prevent accidents and keep everyone safe during the first days of school.

"No one wants to get in an accident, and even fewer want to be in a road accident that involves a child. This is exactly why drivers should take extra care around schools when kids are arriving or leaving in large numbers," said Mr Atchinson.

If you are a fleet manager looking to do your part to improve the safety of both drivers and pedestrians, it may be worthwhile reminding your employees of the rules regarding school zones in your area.

Some states enforce school zone speed restrictions only during the key 7am - 9am and 3pm - 5pm hours, while others, such as South Australia, reduce speed limits around school areas 24 hours a day.

Either way, it is important to remind your drivers to always remain focussed and take care when travelling through areas where children are likely to be congregating.