Centre for Road Safety

Managing safety around schools

Road safety issues around schools are managed by state and local government agencies. Although the roles and responsibilities of the agencies vary, school principals must approve any request before the agencies responsible are contacted. School communities also play a role in keeping children safe around schools and some safety programs require active participation by community members.

1. Parent/student behaviour outside the school

The NSW Road Rules are enforced by the NSW Police Force and council officers.

However, local issues such as illegal parking, unsafe crossing behaviour, and pick-up and drop-off procedures can also be managed with information and education programs. Schools can use the Keeping our kids safe around schools fact sheets (PDF, 1.5Mb) in newsletters and emails to promote safe behaviour. Schools can also work with the Road Safety Officer at their local council to raise awareness of road safety issues in the school area.

The Road Safety Education program from early childhood to the end of schooling is funded by Transport for NSW in partnership with the education sectors. Schools can contact road safety education specialists in their sector.

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2. Roads near schools

Transport for NSW

Transport for NSW provides many road safety measures around schools, including:

  • Installation of new school zones – new school, new direct access point
  • Removal of school zone following closure of a school
  • Installation of all 40km/h School zone signs, patches and dragon’s teeth markings
  • Operating times of 40km/h school zones
  • Installation and maintenance of School zone flashing lights
  • Traffic signals
  • Installation and maintenance of all speed zone signs, including 40km/h school zone signs.

If your school is on a State Road, Transport for NSW is also responsible for:

  • Pedestrian crossings
  • Changes to parking restrictions
  • Road surface repairs
  • Installation and maintenance of all signs
  • Installing or moving a bus zone/stop.

Call 13 22 13 and ask to speak to the Safety Around Schools Coordinator in your area.

Your local council

If your school is on a regional or local road, your local council is responsible for:

  • Parking – changes to restrictions, signs
  • Road repairs
  • Pedestrian crossings
  • Installation of traffic calming devices, including speed humps and roundabouts
  • Off-road shared paths, cycle paths, walking trails
  • New and replacement Children’s Crossing flags
  • Courtesy speed checks
  • Installing or moving a bus zone/stop
  • Footpaths – installation and maintenance
  • Road signs maintenance
  • Road surface repairs.

The Office of Local Government website lists the contact details of all local councils in NSW.

Local Traffic Committees are formed by many councils to review safety and traffic related matters on local roads. If your local council has a Road Safety Officer, they can assist with promoting safe road user behaviour around schools.

School community initiatives
Children Crossing flags

School principals undertake to display Children Crossing flags at children’s crossings that are not staffed by a School Crossing Supervisor. Children’s crossings only operate when flags are displayed, at times approved by local councils.

Principals can find details of the process in the Supplement to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices in Part 10: Pedestrian control and protection (page 6).

Drop-off and Pick-up zones

School communities can work with their local council to provide a roster of adult volunteers for a school Drop-off and Pick-up initiative.

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3. Law enforcement around schools

NSW Police

Community based police operate in Local Area Commands and are responsible for:

  • Enforcement of 40km/h speed limit in school zones
  • Enforcement of all speed limits
  • Enforcement of parking restrictions
  • Promoting voluntary driver compliance around schools
  • Address illegal or unsafe driving behaviour

The details of all Local Area Commands in NSW are listed on the NSW Police Force website.

Your local council

Council rangers are responsible for:

  • Enforcement of parking restrictions

The Office of Local Government website lists the contact details of all local councils in NSW. Correspondence to your local council should be addressed to the General Manager.

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4. Bus safety around schools

Transport for NSW

Transport for NSW encourages safe travel for all school students and is responsible for:

  • Student behaviour on buses
  • Developing and reviewing the Code of Conduct in consultation with schools, bus operators, parent groups and bus driver representatives
  • Promoting school bus safety education
  • Approving location of bus stops with local councils
  • Installing or moving a bus stop with local council
  • School Student Transport Scheme
  • Administrating contracts for school bus services
  • Changes to school bus routes or timetables.

The School Student Transport Scheme website has a code of conduct for students travelling on buses, as well as information for parents, carers and transport operators.

The Transport Info website has timetables, maps and other bus safety information.

State Transit Authority

State Transit is the government owned authority that operates buses in Sydney. The authority is responsible for:

  • Student behaviour on buses.
Private bus and coach operators in NSW

Private operators provide school bus services in Sydney and across NSW (except on routes operated by State Transit) and are responsible for:

  • Student behaviour on buses

The Transport for NSW website has more information on bus and coach operators in NSW.

Transport for NSW

Transport for NSW provides information for drivers and operators of buses and coaches and is responsible for:

  • Authorisation and licensing of bus drivers
  • Accreditation of bus operators in NSW

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