Electronic School Zone Sign Program

Creating a safer environment for our most vulnerable road users

Image: Web image - Electronic School Zone Sign banner.JPG 

School zones across the state are currently designated by static speed signs.

Although these signs show the required speed limit, motorists aren’t always aware if they are travelling within the time periods shown or during the dates that schools operate.

To address this issue and improve safety for our most vulnerable road users, the State Government has committed $36 million to install solar-powered electronic school zone signs at eligible schools across the state.

The new signs are highly visible and display the 40 km/h speed limit during nominated school zone times only, providing a real-time reminder to motorists to slow down through school zones.


Program roll-out

We will be rolling out the program to over 1,000 schools over the next two years, replacing current static signs in school zones with the new electronic signage.

Typically only one road per school will have electronic signs however due to the traffic environment, additional roads may also receive the signs. The signs will be installed typically on the road next to the school frontage.

The new electronic signs will (in most cases) be installed in approximately the same location as the existing static signs however new locations may be required if:

  • There are problems with overhead powerlines or other services
  • The existing location is not suitable due to shading by adjacent trees or buildings.



The new signs are highly visible and display the 40 km/h speed limit during the nominated school morning and afternoon period.

As they only operate during school times, they reduce non-conformance of motorists who may be unaware that they are within the time period or day of the week that the school zone takes effect. 

This raised awareness and the resulting reduction in speed will make getting to and from school easier and safer for children and help road users stay alert and take extra care through school zones.




How many schools will receive the new signs?

Approximately 1,071 schools throughout Western Australia (in both Metropolitan and Regional areas) will have the new Electronic School Zone (ESZ) signs installed.

How do you determine which schools get the signs first?

All schools throughout WA that have static school zone signs will receive the new ESZ signs. The schedule for installation is based on a review by Main Roads that follows strict criteria so that signs get rolled out fairly and within a reasonable timeframe. This criterion includes:

  • Pedestrian casualty crash history
  • Operating speed is 10 km/h higher than the posted speed over the full school zone periods
  • Endorsement of priority from the Children’s Crossing and Road Safety Committee
  • Is on a designated Restricted Access Vehicle Route
  • Road classification
  • Student numbers

How much does it cost to install a sign?

Each sign costs approximately $10,000 to manufacture and install. On average, each school will receive four school signs bringing the total amount per school to around $40,000.

How will I know when my school will get the new signs?

All eligible schools will receive new signs before the end of the 2017 financial year.

We install signs using a rolling schedule that is subject to change at short notice therefore exact dates for individual schools can't be confirmed in advance.


Who pays for the signs?

Funding to install the signs has come from the WA Road Trauma Trust Account which derives its money from the proceeds of speed and red light camera collections.

How can I help the installation process?

Some existing trees on verges and/or private property are obstructing locations where new solar powered signs will be installed.

In most cases, trees can be trimmed back (based on advice from Main Roads and the local council) however some may need to be removed to ensure that signs remain highly visible.

To make sure that existing or new speed signs are visible and effective – keep your trees trimmed. If you think a street tree may need to be removed or pruned, contact your local council.



What are the benefits of installing the new signs?

The safety benefit of the electronic school zone signs is due to the highly visible display of the reduced speed limit only during hours of operation (real-time). 

The signs reduce non-conformance of motorists who may-be unaware that they are within the time period or day of week that the school zone takes effect.

Have any other options been tried?

Before the ESZ signs were proposed, various improvements had been introduced to increase the visual impact of the school zone signage.

These include increasing the size of signs, fitting a highly visible red ‘top hat’ to the signs and pavement markings consisting of a black ‘40’ on a yellow background on busier, higher-speed roads.

While these measures have been successful, with the population increasing and higher densities, it can be expected that the level of attention required around schools will increase and therefore school zone signs will need to compete with the other demands making the ESZ signs the best option.


Is there any evidence that they actually work?

An assessment by Main Roads and WA Police, along with feedback obtained from various groups and individuals shows that electronic school zone signs have resulted in better driver compliance to the 40 km/h limits.

These results translate into increased safety for pedestrians and other road users within school zones.


Questions or further information

How can I apply for more signs at my school?

If you believe your school needs additional electronic school zone signs, email enquiries@mainroads.wa.gov.au or call our Customer Information Centre on 138 138 to request a school zone review.

We will review your request, perform an onsite inspection and recommend the next course of action.


Further information

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Modified: 16 Feb 2016