Warn­ing for driv­ers near schools

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - DANIEL WHIT­FIELD

For many Porirua chil­dren, Mon­day marked the first day of a new year at school.

It also marked the start of a busy pe­riod for po­lice.

Po­lice around New Zealand are urg­ing peo­ple to keep an eye out for chil­dren with the recom­mence­ment of school.

In­spec­tor Paula Holt, the man­ager of com­mu­nity ser­vices, said driv­ers needed to be ex­tra vig­i­lant around schools and keep in mind that chil­dren could be un­pre­dictable.

‘‘We need to do ev­ery­thing we can to safe­guard our kids as they walk or cy­cle to school – some of them for the first time,’’ Holt said.

Speed around schools has be­come a pub­lic health and road safety is­sue in re­cent years.

In­spec­tor Paula Holt, the man­ager of com­mu­nity ser­vices, said driv­ers needed to be ex­tra vig­i­lant around schools and keep in mind that chil­dren could be un­pre­dictable.

In Porirua there are more than 25 schools and five col­leges, with many on or around main roads.

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics, chil­dren are most at risk when they’re walk­ing to and from school.

‘‘If you’re walk­ing your chil­dren to school, show them the safest place to cross roads, re­mind­ing them to look left and right and look out for cars,’’ Holt said.

She said mo­torists should be re­minded there was a per­ma­nent 4kmh speed thresh­old in place around schools.

‘‘Make sure you al­low plenty of time for school drop-offs, so you’re not rushed and can give the road the full at­ten­tion.’’

Holt re­minded driv­ers to take care when pass­ing school buses.

The speed limit is 20kmh when pass­ing school buses drop­ping off or pick­ing up chil­dren.

NZ Trans­port Agency sug­gests that though roads out­side schools are of­ten per­ceived as dan­ger­ous for chil­dren, there are sev­eral ways peo­ple can con­trib­ute to safety.

One is to or­gan­ise a pick-up and drop-off for chil­dren in a nearby street, away from the busy thor­ough­fare.

An­other is to re­duce speed when driv­ing near schools.

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