House debates

Monday, 18 February 2019

Constituency Statements

Adelaide Electorate: Road Safety

10:53 am

Photo of Kate EllisKate Ellis (Adelaide, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I regret that I can't also talk about cane toad sniffer dogs—something I haven't been able to do in my 15 years here! Instead I rise today, as I have on more than one occasion, to argue in this place and make clear my deep concern about the safety of our children. I have been calling on the South Australian government to prioritise the lives of Adelaide High School students and do something to address the serious road safety issues at that school. Now, once again, I stand here to highlight more road safety issues at our schools—this time for Nailsworth Primary School students. I have been contacted by several concerned parents of Nailsworth Primary School.

I and my newly elected state colleague Andrea Michaels, South Australia's new member for Enfield, and our Senate candidate Emily Gore, recently met with the Nailsworth Primary School community at the pedestrian crossing they are concerned about. The school and the crossing are a two-minute walk from my electorate office, and both are located on Main North Road. For those who are unfamiliar with Adelaide, Main North Road is a major north-south arterial route and, consequently, it is extremely busy. The road has a 60-kilometre speed limit. On one side is Prospect and on the other side is Nailsworth. There is no 25-kay school-crossing speed zone, due to the fact that the school is actually situated on the side road around the corner from the pedestrian crossing. However, families living in Prospect need to cross our Main North Road to get to Nailsworth Primary School. It is a road that I drive across almost every day. So, when parents contacted me expressing concerns about cars regularly not stopping at red lights, driving right on through, at high speed of traffic, so close to large groups of children, I knew exactly what they were talking about.

Between 2014 and the beginning of 2019, SA Police records show that 1,496 motorists exceeded the speed limit in a school zone, and, of those, 776 were fined a total of $357,000. These figures were presented in the Advertiser recently.

I've been writing to all levels of government to fund safer infrastructure on the roads near our schools. The students of Nailsworth primary and their safety and security must be paramount. We know—and it is placed on the record—that it is only a matter of time before there will be a tragedy at that site unless the state government puts in place greater safety mechanisms. Students are at risk. A young person would be more likely than an adult to make an error of judgement crossing this road or to not see a speeding car flying through the red light. I encourage Nailsworth Primary School students to keep pursuing this fight, and I will stand and fight with them. (Time expired)