Are Too Many Road Rules Unsafe?

The final term of the 2020 school year kicks off today, and motorists are being given their usual warnings about road rules.

However, that doesn’t necessarily help when it comes to the official road rules in SA.

Take the case of emu and koala crossings, as well as zebra crossings.

Apparently, emu crossings have red and white posts and operate only when the CHILDREN CROSSING flags are displayed. They are placed within School Zones and a speed limit of 25km/h applies 'when children are present'.

Meanwhile, 'koala' crossings have red and white posts at the edge of the road and two yellow alternating flashing lights. As indicated by a sign, a speed limit of 25 km/h applies when the lights are flashing.

This is in addition to ‘zebra’ crossings, which are striped and painted on the ground, but not if the zebra crossing is raised. Then it becomes a ‘wombat’ crossing.

Excuse me, but are these rules supposed to be for adults or kids?

Are we getting the wiggles to write our road rules now?

Since moving to SA, I’ve seen many things that SA does much better than where I grew up in NSW, kebabs, potato scallops and schooners being the largest drink size at a pub aside…..

However, why do we have these random names for crossings?

Further, why are road rules so ambiguous?

25km/h in school zones when children are present?

Are we to spend our time scanning the road for kids, ignoring the speedo and our rear vision mirror?

What’s wrong with simplifying road rules?

In NSW, school zone signs are posted and, if the lights are flashing, the limit is 40km/h.

3:01pm when kids are aplenty?

40km/h.

3:59pm when kids are all gone?

40km/h.

Driving is tough enough without having to make judgement calls on the fly.

As for the different names?

Does it really matter what the names are if you need to have as intricate a knowledge of each crossing as you’re expected to have of your first born’s favourite cartoon characters and cartoons?

Then there’s how the kids crossings operate.

Again, it’s simpler elsewhere.

In NSW, it’s basic: If the crossing is marked as a children’s crossing, that means there’s a lollipop person on duty and you only stop when they have their sign up.

If it’s not marked with children’s crossing flags, treat it as a regular pedestrian crossing.

It’s not a difficult system to operate, and it amazes me that, given how many things South Australia does so much better than other states, that road rules around school zones requires a PhD and three apprenticeships to understand.

Which begs the question, what road rules need to be changed?