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Drivers are being urged to prioritise safety as students, parents and school communities return to the roads and public transport network for Term One across the country.

Commuters should expect to see a large increase in road traffic and public transport usage during peak hour, as well as a rise in foot and bicycle traffic during school times. Motorists are particularly reminded to take care when passing trams – ensuring they give pedestrians right of way when trams are stopped to avoid dangerous near misses.

“School-aged children are some of our most vulnerable road users – and we all have a responsibility to keep them safe when they’re travelling to and from school. That means everyone slowing down and paying attention around school zones,” Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll said.

School speed zones have be switched back on across the country to create a safe environment for students and motorists. Some school speed zones are permanent, while others operate from 8am to 9.30am and from 2.30pm to 4pm on weekdays during terms – so it’s important to drivers to be vigilant.

Parents are urged to set a good example for children by safely entering and exiting parked cars, only using designated pedestrian crossings and obeying the direction of crossing supervisors.

“Children are vulnerable road users. They are at risk in the traffic environment because of their size, their inability to judge speed and distance, as well as the fact that they may behave unpredictably,” NSW Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor said.

“Road safety around schools is everybody’s responsibility – students, teachers, parents, carers and drivers. We all have a part to play,” Ms Suitor said.