FORTY km/h zones will not be installed near Orange preschools and childcare centres, after the Roads and Traffic Authority refused a request to broaden the city’s school zones.
Orange councillors are calling on the RTA to reconsider its decision, which councillor Jason Hamling said had been reached without an RTA inspection of the roads around Orange preschools.
Cr Hamling first called for the 40 km/h zones to be installed in April.
The RTA says the 40 km/h zones are not appropriate because school zones are designed to protect unaccompanied school children on roads with direct access to schools.
A spokesperson said children attending preschools and childcare facilities had to be accompanied by an adult by law.
“I think the RTA, instead of having a bureaucrat rule out 40 km/h zones, should look at each school individually, and consult with the preschool, instead of just saying we don’t do that,” Cr Hamling said.
“When a mum’s picking the kids up and she’s got a toddler on one hand and a baby in the other, having that 10 km/h lower speed limit can make all the difference.”
In the past, preschools including Trinity Pre-School, on Kooronga Avenue, and the ABC Learning Centre on Kite Street, have supported a push for a broadening of 40 km/h zones.
Earlier this year, a four-year-old girl was hit by a car travelling at low speed outside Trinity Preschool.
Joy Watterson, the director of Orange Preschool Kindergarten, on Moad Street, said 40 km/h zones were a safer option should a child run out onto the road.
“I think it’s a good idea myself, just because with parents getting little ones to cars it can be difficult,” she said.
“While parents might be holding the kids’ hands, children can still run off, so it would be beneficial to have a 40 km/h zone because sometimes accidents can happen.”
Miss Watterson said Orange Preschool Kindergarten had drop off and pick up times that were similar to the hours in place for Orange’s school zones.
A spokesperson for the RTA said the installation of 40 km/h zones near preschools and childcare centres would cause confusion for drivers because of the inconsistent operating hours and locations of the facilities.
“Child care facilities have operating hours between 6.30am and 6pm and are often private organisations, located in private residences which are not easily identifiable,” the spokesperson said.
“They also change locations more often than schools through private care facilities opening and closing.”