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 days2021
Term 1 - Eastern Division NSWWednesday 27 January to Thursday 1 April (inclusive)
Term 1 - Western Division NSWWednesday 3 February to Thursday 1 April (inclusive)
Term 2 (Eastern and Western Divisions NSW)Monday 19 April to Friday 25 June (inclusive)
Term 3 (Eastern and Western Divisions NSW)Monday 12 July to Friday 17 September (inclusive)
Term 4 (Eastern and Western Divisions NSW)Tuesday 5 October to Friday 17 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. Transport for NSW has more 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 6,500 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.


Children’s crossings and pedestrian crossings

This animation highlights the difference between children’s crossings and pedestrian crossings, and what motorists need to do on approach to each type of crossing.