Initiative against child accidents.

New KFV road safety campaign:
30 km/h speed limit near schools!

Vienna, 04. March 2015

The accident statistics are alarming: every year, around 3,000 children are involved in accidents on Austria's roads, 500 of them on their way to school. On the one hand, this is down to the fact that many drivers are travelling faster than permitted and continue to ignore speed limits and, on the other hand, too much is often expected from children in terms of their experience and behaviour in road traffic. "Children are not little adults. They are not able to correctly asses speed and distances, they are easily distracted and their field of vision is significantly limited. The way they see, hear, think, feel and move is different to adults and they often feel unsafe when they are out in public spaces on their own," explains Dr. Othmar Thann, Director of the KFV (Austrian Road Safety Board). "As the weakest road users, they therefore require our protection."

In order to make the journey to school safe for our children, the KFV has developed a comprehensive safety concept and initiated the new project "30 km/h speed limit near schools". Because simple construction and design elements near schools can help to alert drivers to children's travel routes, thus encouraging a slower and more considerate way of driving at sensitive sections of the road. In addition to the extensive 30 km/h speed limit zones near schools, the KFV also recommends zigzag-line road markings on the side of the road, encouraging drivers to drive more slowly and attentively. Furthermore, especially when it is dark, sufficient lighting on pedestrian crossings is very important, as pedestrians should be clearly visible even before stepping onto the crossing. "Over the next days, primary schools and communities across Austria will be invited by the KFV to join this road safety campaign," says Thann.

Pupils paint action signs

For the pupils of the participating schools, the KFV has come up with a very special activity: they can create their own action signs, which will then be placed at the side of the road in front of their school building. Each action sign will display alternating, weather-proofed images so that the images can regularly be switched. All images will be created by pupils from the participating schools. Of course it is up to the children what they chose to draw. The KFV will provide the materials. As a particular highlight, traffic safety expert Helmi will be visiting all participating schools, providing information on the correct behaviour in the area surrounding the school. Communities, authorities and schools interested in more detailed information can contact the KFV directly, which will provide a comprehensive starter pack containing all important information, documents and materials.

Important safety tips for children and adults

For school children:

  • Particular caution at crossings: Drivers do not always adhere to the speed limit. 
  • Use pedestrian crossings at all times when crossing streets. Before crossing: look left and right and start walking only once the road is clear or once all drivers have stopped for you.
  • Walk across pedestrian crossings quickly but do not run - danger of falling!
  • At bus stops, always keep sufficient distance to the arriving bus. Wait until the bus has stopped, then proceed to bus entry point.

For parents and drivers:

  • Anyone travelling near schools or kindergartens must be aware of the following: Step off the gas, keep your eyes open so you can react to childrens' mistakes in traffic. Children act spontaneously and lack a realistic sense of danger. This is why children are exempted from the principle of mutual trust.
  • Parents who are taking their children to school or picking them up: please look out for walking children and mind your speed! 
  • Do not park in front of schools in areas where you block traffic. Reversing in the narrow courtyard in front of schools endangers children.
  • Please make use of other parking options outside of school grounds. It is also beneficial for children's safety and health to walk the last part of the way to school with them or to let them walk.

Please feel free to contact us in case of questions.