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Flashing school zone signs

What is a flashing school zone sign?

School zone flashing lights

A flashing school zone sign consists of a standard school zone sign that incorporates a flashing red circle and twin alternate flashing yellow lights mounted above the 'school zone' plate. The red circle and twin yellow lights flash during the operation of the school zone. These signs are intended to draw motorists’ attention to the hours of operation of the school zone and to signal to motorists to slow down to the posted speed during those hours of operation.

What are the benefits of flashing school zone signs?

Apart from reducing the risk of a crash and the severity of a crash should it occur, there are several additional benefits of flashing school zone signs.

They are:

  • only a single sign is required as it is ‘fail safe’ (the sign retains its function in the unlikely event that the active elements do not operate)
  • lower capital cost than alternative signs, e.g. vehicle activated signs
  • uniformity – all higher risk schools treated in the same manner, avoiding confusion 
  • timer based technology is not constrained by the road geometry onsite.

Why are flashing school zone signs being installed?Speeding in a 40km/h school zone 200m @ 50km/h save 3.6 sec, 200m @ 60km/h saves 6 sec, is it worth it?

Speeding through school zones greatly increases the risk to pedestrians as the faster a vehicle is travelling, the longer it takes to stop and the greater the severity of impact. Children are also impulsive, unpredictable and inexperienced, which is why motorists need to exercise caution in the vicinity of a school.

A recent Queensland evaluation of the effectiveness of flashing school zone signs found that the signs are a useful tool to assist motorists to determine when school zones are in operation. Additionally, the evaluation found that the signs were associated with statistically significant reductions in travel speeds during school zone times.

To encourage increased compliance with the lower speed limits, the department is installing flashing school zone signs at risk assessed school zones.

How are schools selected for flashing school zone signs?

Schools are selected for flashing school zone signs based on a detailed risk analysis of all school zones in Queensland and nominations by schools and communities based on local knowledge of particular problem areas through their local Members of Parliament. When assessing schools for the program, priority is given to school zones with a significant crash history, a high level of vehicle and pedestrian traffic, higher speed limits or visibility problems.

How many schools will receive the new signs?

As at 30 June 2018, 844 school zones have already had flashing school zone signs installed. You can access a complete list of school zones which have had flashing school zone signs installed under the Queensland Government's Flashing School Zone Sign program online.

There is a further commitment to install 100 flashing school zone signs each financial year before 30 June 2020.

School term information

Last updated
14 November 2018