We have 39 schools in our City, many of which are bounded by local roads that we monitor and manage. We are finding that less students now choose to walk, cycle or catch public transport to school and instead occupy vehicles for their commute. With increased demand on the road network, concerns about road safety around schools has been identified.

One of the most common concerns raised by our school communities is drivers not adhering to the 25km/h School Zone speed limit. In South Australia, 25km/h speed limits around schools are applicable ‘when children are present’. This places responsibility on drivers to look for children (or anyone in uniform) and then slow to the applicable speed limit when children are present. We have taken this feedback seriously and identified an area of concern to trial a pilot project, the first of its kind in South Australia.

“Smart” School Zone Pilot Project Woodville High School (Actil Avenue, St Clair)

With the use of ‘smart technology’ we can assist drivers to identify when pedestrians are within the Actil Avenue school zone and advise them to be mindful of their speed using the following methods (developed through consultation with the State Government Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure).

  • Sensor bollards to detect the presence of pedestrians within the school zone
  • Radars to detect the speed of motorists approaching*
  • When pedestrians are detected within the school zone and the speed of an approaching motorist exceeds 25km/h; a sign board will flash, directing drivers to “CHECK SPEED” or “LOOK FOR CHILDREN”.

Data will be collected during a trial period of 6-12 months to compare compliance with the school zone speed limit before and after the introduction of smart technology. The outcomes of this pilot project will provide valuable information about the potential for smart technology to improve pedestrian safety in other areas of our Council and also across South Australia.

Operation of smart technology

*Speed detection radars will only be used to operate equipment and collect data associated with the pilot project. they will not be used to issue speed infringement notices or identify drivers.

What will be installed in Actil Avenue?

The Smart School Zone will consist of six heat sensor/ ultrasonic-sensor bollards installed in the verge at all six main entrance points to the zone (i.e. outside the school and outside 12-14 and 30-32 Actil Avenue) to detect the presence of pedestrians in the zone.

Speed detection radars will be attached to ‘School Zone’ signs (below solar panels) to detect vehicle speeds on approach and a variable message screen will sit below the speed limit sign to display messages to drivers.

When will installation occur?

Installation of the bollards and radars is proposed for May-June 2020.