Triangular road markings or ‘Dragon’s Teeth’ are currently being installed at the entry points to all 10,000 school zones across New South Wales to improve road safety for students. The Dragon’s Teeth are an innovative $14 million initiative, announced by the NSW Government in May 2009, which is in addition to the comprehensive school zone road safety program. The Dragon’s Teeth program involves painting triangular line-markings on the road pavement for up to 32.5 metres at the start of each school zone. Dragon’s Teeth are already used internationally and are a clever and cost-effective way of keeping children safe.
Benefits of Dragon’s Teeth
The Dragon’s Teeth markings further increase the visibility of school zones for motorists and provide a constant reinforcement to keep to the 40 km/h speed limit around schools. Combined with the existing signs, flashing lights and painted ‘40’ pavement markings on the road, the dragon’s teeth will ensure motorists know when they are driving through a 40km/h school zone. Most school zones operate between 8am and 9.30am and from 2.30pm till 4pm. Children are often unpredictable and do not always act safely around traffic. The visibility of the Dragon’s Teeth road markers will help remind motorists to slow down to 40 km/h during school zone times to protect children and keep them safe. The slower speed in school zones lessens the risk of crashes. Where crashes do occur, they are less severe, especially for children. For example, a car travelling at 50kmh is twice as likely to kill a pedestrian than a car travelling at 40km/h.
Rollout of Dragon’s Teeth
There is a massive works program associated with the rollout of the Dragon’s Teeth. Since the first Dragon’s Teeth were installed at Penrith in September 2009, work has continued across NSW. The Dragon’s Teeth are being progressively installed at all 3,154 schools across the state with the work expected to be complete by the end of 2010.