Back to school safety reminder

With the start of a new school year next week it’s timely to think about the journey your children will be taking to school, especially if they are new entrants or starting new schools.

Back to school safetyThe journey to and from school can be a learning and fun exercise for children and helping them to understand road safety will help them stay safe on their journey. 

Council’s Road Safety Co-coordinator Kathy Graham says an important part of teaching children road safety is to model safe behaviour yourself and talk to your child about what you are doing and why. 

Whether you’re accompanying your child to school on foot, cycle or scooter or driving them in the car there are some key things to remember:

  • Children cannot accurately judge the speed and distance of approaching cars
  • Young children cannot always locate the source of sounds
  • They tend to be far-sighted and have difficulty with side vision.
  • Children's eye levels are lower than adults; they may not always be able to see around parked cars.
  • They get easily distracted around other children and may forget to look for traffic

“Mapping out a suitable route for your child to walk, cycle or scoot is a good first step. This may not necessarily be the shortest route, but the one with the least potential hazards. If you drive your child to school, consider if it is possible to park further away from the school gate and walk.  This will help reduce congestion at the school gate which can make it unsafe for everyone,” Kathy says. 

North Canterbury Police Acting Sub Area Commander Sergeant Anna Lloyd agrees.  “Double parking outside schools is of particular concern during pick-up and drop-off times and puts children at risk by creating more hazards for them to negotiate .Police also have a low tolerance for speed around schools and when passing stationary school buses. Drivers are required to slow down to 20 km/h no matter what side of the road you are on when passing a school bus. We’ll be paying particular attention to both these areas of concern” she says.

School patrols also rely on courtesy and safe behaviour from all road users to help keep children safe on their journey to school.  Getting to and from school should be an enjoyable part of the day for children.   Everyone in the community can play a part to help keep everybody safe on the roads.

Contact: Kathy Graham

Phone: 03 311 8900