Suicide alley

Constable Dan Barlow pulls over a motorist in the Read Street school zone on Tuesday.
Constable Dan Barlow pulls over a motorist in the Read Street school zone on Tuesday.

The Peel Traffic unit is running Operation Alabaster, the third targeted school-zone operation so far this year.

Every morning and afternoon in February, May and June, Peel Traffic has had a police presence in a local school zone, including visible patrols and covert cameras.

Peel Traffic officer-in-charge Sen Sgt Chris Hoath said the figures spoke for themselves.

‘On average each day the camera operators will capture approximately 100 drivers for speeding and the patrol officer will stop and infringe 15 to 20 drivers,’ he said.

‘Our message is clear. We are there to protect school children and to enforce the road rules.

‘Mostly it’s just forgetfulness, but people have to be aware as it’s potentially a very dangerous area.’

Police Traffic warden Lynette, who did not want her surname published, works at a school crossing in a suburb south of Rockingham.

‘It amazes me how many people do not or will not abide by the flashing 40km/h signs,’ she told the Courier.

‘I can’t believe that motorists don’t think the rules apply to them. Just today while on duty I flagged at least six or seven cars to slow down as they approached the crossing.

‘One four-wheel-drive continued on through the crossing even after I had put the flags out.

‘One gentleman was not impressed at me for waving him to slow down and gave me ‘the bird’.’

Another motorist sped through the crossing on purpose, turned around at the roundabout and sped back through the school zone again with ‘a stupid grin’. 

Another local traffic warden said his school zone was akin to ‘suicide alley’, as students often jaywalked across the road rather than using designated crossings. 

‘It just takes one small child to forget to wait for the whistle and dart out,’ Lynette said. 

‘I pray you never have the misfortune to lose a loved one due to the stupidity of some driver.’