Push for 40km/h school zone

Pilbara News - - News - Court­ney Fowler

A 40km/h school-zone cross­ing is likely to be in­tro­duced ad­ja­cent to Kar­ratha Se­nior High School, af­ter on­go­ing safety con­cerns from the com­mu­nity over the ex­ist­ing school cross­ing on Dampier High­way.

The safety of stu­dents cross­ing this sec­tion of road has been a con­cern for res­i­dents since the school moved there in Au­gust, 2013.

In May 2014, Main Roads WA said the cross­ing would be manned by traf­fic war­dens, with ad­di­tional wig wag light­ing in­stalled at the in­ter­sec­tion of Dampier High­way and Broad­hurst Road.

How­ever, Kar­ratha Se­nior High School is one of three schools in the area which has been with­out any traf­fic war­dens this year to help stu­dents cross the road safely.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the wig wag lights in­stalled at the Broad­hurst Road and Dampier High­way in­ter­sec­tion had caused con­fu­sion and were in­ef­fec­tive un­less used in con­junc­tion with a traf­fic war­den.

“The coun­cil has al­ways ad­vo­cated for an al­ter­na­tive de­sign as we feel the de­sign is sub-op­ti­mal,” he said.

“The wig wag lights that were in­stalled are sup­posed to be used in con­junc­tion with a traf­fic war­den dur­ing school drop-off and pick-up hours, but that po­si­tion has still not been filled.

“We have ap­plied for fund­ing un­der the Black Spot Pro­gram to re­place the round­about with traf­fic sig­nals, how­ever that is likely to take some time to im­ple­ment.”

Mr Long said the City was work­ing with Main Roads to im­ple­ment a school zone of 40km/h dur­ing dropoff and pick-up times.

“In the mean­time, we are try­ing to re­in­force the mes­sage that pedes­tri­ans must give way to ve­hi­cles and have in­stalled new sig­nage along the foot­paths and no­ti­fied the school,” he said.

A spokes­woman from Main Roads WA said it was work­ing with po­lice, the Road Safety Com­mis­sion and the school to find a so­lu­tion.

“Con­sid­er­a­tion is be­ing given to in­tro­duce a 40 km/h zone,” she said.

“In ad­di­tion to the flash­ing warn­ing sig­nals … ad­di­tional warn­ing sig­nage has been in­stalled.

“School-guard cross­ings are the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the WA Po­lice school cross­ing unit.”

KSHS act­ing prin­ci­pal Jen­nifer McMa­hon said was pleased to see a more co­or­di­nated ap­proach be­tween gov­ern­ment agen­cies to im­prove the cross­ing.

“Ul­ti­mately it’s the safety of the stu­dents that is our pri­or­ity,” Ms McMa­hon said.

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