Centre for Road Safety

Slow down for children

40km/h school zones help protect children on their way to and from schools at the times and places where they are often in high numbers. This lower speed limit reduces the risk and potential severity of a crash. School zone signs, dragon’s teeth road markings and flashing lights improve the visibility of school zones.

School zone days

40km/h school zones are in force on all days which are not a weekend, a public holiday or a publicly notified school holiday for government schools.

Notified school days2019
Term 1 - Eastern Division NSWTuesday 29 January to Friday 12 April (inclusive)
Term 1 - Western Division NSWTuesday 5 February to Friday 12 April (inclusive)
Term 2 (Eastern and Western Divisions NSW)Monday 29 April to Friday 5 July (inclusive)
Term 3 (Eastern and Western Divisions NSW)Monday 22 July to Friday 27 September (inclusive)
Term 4 (Eastern and Western Divisions NSW)Monday 14 October to Friday 20 December (inclusive)

School zone days (as shown above) include school development days, also known as student-free days, because some students may attend their school on these days.

The NSW Department of Education website has more information on school term dates and detailed data on school locations.

School zone times

Most school zones operate from 8 to 9.30am and from 2.30 to 4pm. However, there are a small number of non-standard school zone times in NSW, which are identified by red/orange school zone signs showing the times when school zone flashing lights operate.

Protecting our children

Motorists must drive no faster than 40 km/h through school zones. Increased fines and demerit points apply for certain school zone offences, with illegal use of mobile phones and speeding among those included in double demerit periods. The Roads and Maritime website has information on fines and demerit point offences.

School zone flashing lights

Our video animation explains the 40km/h speed limit in school zones. Read a transcript.

All schools included

The NSW Government has ensured that every school in NSW has at least one set of school zone flashing lights.

More than 6,000 school zone flashing lights are in place across NSW to warn motorists when they are about to enter a 40km/h school zone.

Additional flashing lights for schools with multiple entrances

The NSW Government has also installed additional school zone flashing lights at more than 500 schools across NSW with multiple busy entrances, to further protect children travelling to and from school. Our NSW schools - Additional flashing lights list (PDF, 549Kb) shows where the extra school zone flashing lights have been installed.

The school zone flashing lights program is one of the vital road safety programs funded through speed and red light camera fines by the Community Road Safety Fund.

Frequently asked questions has detailed information about school zone flashing lights.