Queensland Police school zone pace car tested outside schools in the Redlands

LOOK OUT: Volunteer in policing Alan Dorber, Senior Constable Dane Smith, ViP Liz McKenzie-Smith and Sergeant Wayen Richter. Photo: Hannah Baker
LOOK OUT: Volunteer in policing Alan Dorber, Senior Constable Dane Smith, ViP Liz McKenzie-Smith and Sergeant Wayen Richter. Photo: Hannah Baker

A SCHOOL zone pace car is being tested outside Redlands schools this week with help from traffic police.

Bayside patrol crime prevention coordinator Sergeant Chris Hebblethwaite said the car – a white Hyundai van marked with school pace car signage – would enforce school speed limits in a passive but visible way.

He said the initiative was being used in partnership with road policing to help address traffic complaints or safety concerns raised by schools and residents.

The van was driven outside Capalaba State College during school drop-off today, with drivers’ responses watched by Capalaba’s road policing unit.

Five motorists were nabbed for speeding during the morning run.

Senior Constable Dane Smith said three of those were warned for low range speeding, with infringement notices issued to two drivers clocked travelling about 20km/hr over the speed limit.

The van was later driven past Birkdale State School along Agnes Street during pick-up time in police presence.

It was also cruised past Birkdale South State School.

Police will be set up outside schools at Cleveland and Thornlands on Thursday and at Redland Bay on Friday, as the pace car is trialled.

Pace cars are usually used on race tracks during motorsport events to slow vehicles behind them but the concept is being introduced to stop cars speeding past schools.

The van – part of Queensland Police’s existing vehicle fleet – is driven by Volunteers in Policing.

Volunteers cannot enforce road rules but will drive on roads near schools at the 40 km/h speed limit.

One parent, Shaylah Smart, who lives near Birkdale State School, said busy school traffic worried her.

She said she thought the Queensland Police school pace car was a fantastic idea, but added that speeds near the Birkdale Road intersection at Agnes Street should also be slowed for children’s safety.

“The amount of cars that fly up and down there is insane, even those going around the corner,” she said.

“It has been one of my concerns.”

It is understood results from the pace car trial will be used as part of a submission by Queensland Police for a permanent school zone pace car.