Back to School Safety

With preparations being made for the new school term starting, the Council’s Road Safety Coordinator is urging parents and caregivers to talk about road safety with their children, and think about the journey they will take to school.

Children crossing at a school kea crossing in WoodendKathy Graham, Council’s Road Safety Co-ordinator says it is great if children can walk, cycle or scooter to school, and mapping out a suitable route is a good first step.

“It may not necessarily be the shortest way, but the one with the least potential hazards to help them confidently and safely get to school”.

“If you drive, consider parking further away from the school gate and walk. This will help reduce congestion making it safer for everyone. Double parking 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 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 they are on when passing.

School patrols rely on courtesy and safe behaviour from all road users to help keep children safe on their journey to school. All drivers need to be extra careful on the roads as children settle into the new school term and 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.