Care needed as drivers near schools
Reducing the risks and keeping all road users safe is the driver behind a road safety campaign being conducted by Waikato police tasked with keeping those returning, and in some cases starting, school from this week.
Acting District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Dana McDonald, said school start dates were varied across the Waikato with most secondary school students returning on Monday.
Depending of where you are and what school your children may attend, term one commenced between January 26 and tomorrow.
‘‘While a staggered start, this still means a sharp increase in the number and type of road users from new entrants being dropped off at school to more experienced students riding bikes or walking that all add to the congestion on our roads.’’
McDonald said it wasn’t just those travelling by themselves motorists are asked to keep in mind of but those travelling by school buses as well.
‘‘ I’d just like to remind all drivers of the speed limit of 20kmh when passing school buses dropping off or picking up children.
‘‘ At the same time various schools within Hamilton, satellite towns throughout the Waikato and rural communities all have signposted reduced speed limits outside them and we would ask all drivers to take note of these and adjust their speeds accordingly.
It’s about protecting those too young to look out for themselves.’’
McDonald said there were a number of key things road users can do to keep themselves and children returning or starting school safe.
Top tips for motorists:
Be alert for children; they can be unpredictable.
Slow down in and near school zones or residential areas and come to a complete stop at all intersections.
Look for clues such as crossing guards, bicycles and playgrounds which indicate children could be in the area.
Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs that children could dart into the road.
Always stop for school buses that are loading and unloading students.
Allow plenty of time so you are not rushed as you travel to work or school.
Safe walking parents:
Young children accompanied by an child, or a buddy.
Involve children in selecting the safest route to school/home.
Teach children to stop, listen and look for approaching and turning vehicles.
Discuss the use of crosswalks, and why it’s safer to cross at some corners rather than others. should be adult, older
Discuss the meaning of traffic signals and markings along the route.
Teach them to co-operate with police, school safety patrols and adult crossing guards.
Set a good example for children – their actions and attitudes are modelled after yours.
When picking up or dropping off children:
Ensure children get in and out on the footpath side of the car.
Park safely, away from yellow lines, intersections and driveways.
Don’t double park school.
Park further away if necessary and walk with your children to and from the school gate.