Truck visit drives home safety mes­sage

The Leader (Tasman) - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - KATY JONES

Mak­ing eye con­tact with truck driv­ers, and never step­ping on to a pedes­trian cross­ing when a truck is ap­proach­ing.

They were among some of the lessons learned by chil­dren at Stoke pri­mary school in Nel­son when the ‘‘Safety man truck’’ came to call.

The truck tour is part of the na­tional ‘‘Shar­ing the Road with Bigs Trucks’’ pro­gramme, de­vel­oped with spon­sors like Heavy Trucks and the Road Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion, to high­light some of the ‘‘lim­ited ca­pa­bil­i­ties’’ of trucks on the road.

Chil­dren at the school climbed on­board the ‘‘640 Man Truck’’, to get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the blind spots for truck driv­ers, school spokes­woman teacher aide, Me­lanie Ed­wards said.

Class­room dis­cus­sions af­ter the visit showed the pupils had been pay­ing at­ten­tion, she said.

‘‘The chil­dren un­der­stood about look­ing to make sure the truck driver can see them if they’re on their bike, and if they’re go­ing to cross the road, and if there’s no eye con­tact they couldn’t cross.

‘‘They knew if they had a bike to get out of the way with the draft the trucks have.’’

Stoke School sits on the busy main road in Stoke, but she said chil­dren needed to be aware of the dan­gers on qui­eter roads too.

‘‘If a truck hap­pens to be in the area, whether it be a fur­ni­ture re­moval truck or any­thing, if chil­dren have got that mes­sage, know­ing what to do around trucks and be­ing safe, it’s go­ing to keep ac­ci­dents and fa­tal­i­ties down.

‘‘It’s just let­ting chil­dren know how to be safe when they’re walk­ing, and cross­ing the road, don’t walk out in front of a truck be­cause it takes a long time for them to stop.’’

The safety pro­gramme comes ahead of the school’s truck show, an an­nual fundraiser that in­cludes a clas­sic truck dis­play, re­mote con­trol trucks and an ex­ca­va­tor com­pe­ti­tion.

The 5th an­nual event takes places at the A&P Show Grounds on Queen Street in Rich­mond on Satur­day, Novem­ber 11.

MARTIN DE RUYTER/ THE LEADER

Stoke school chil­dren climb into the cab of the Safety MAN truck, dur­ing the visit to pro­mote truck safety.

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