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Safe Routes To School For Mt Roskill

A Safe Routes to School programme is about to be introduced in Mt Roskill.

Work on establishing the scheme begins this month when parents and children from seven schools in the area will be surveyed to identify the risks they face walking, biking or driving to school. Input will also be received from local community groups.

Once these risks are collated, an action plan will be put in place and will include engineering and environmental improvements, enforcement and education initiatives.

The programme aims to make it safer for children walking or biking to school and is used in areas where a child road injury problem has been identified, says Auckland City’s school road safety co-ordinator, Mariken Flapper.

She says analysis of Auckland City Council crash statistics for children and young adults aged between five and 15 indicates Mt Roskill is a high-risk community for young pedestrians.

A successful Safe Routes to School programme is already running in Otahuhu, involving one kindergarten, five primary schools, one intermediate and two colleges.

“Since its introduction in August 1999, the programme has developed a very strong momentum and has received great support within the local community,” Mariken Flapper says.

Road related injuries are the number one cause of death for New Zealand primary-aged children.

On average a child pedestrian is hospitalised every day and once every 18 days, a child pedestrian dies. Many of these incidents happen when children are travelling to and from school, Mariken says.

Ironically, there are more cars on the road near schools as more parents elect to drive their children to school because they are concerned about their safety. This means a further increase in traffic volumes near schools and leads to even more parents deciding to drive their children to school. It is important that this cycle is broken, Mariken says.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Mariken Flapper, school road safety co-ordinator, Auckland City, tel: 307 7639.

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