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Pedestrian Safety Becoming A Problem

Pedestrian Safety Becoming A Problem

Manukau's youngsters are being told "The Road is no Playground".

Manukau City Council's Road Safety staff are supporting the Land Transport Safety Authority's campaign to reduce the number of injuries to young pedestrians.

The LTSA campaign sprang from research showing that while children are discouraged from playing on roads in general, playing on a 'quiet' road is seen as acceptable.

Research shows that the three main risk factors for child injury are traffic speed, traffic volume and the parked vehicles obscuring children's vision. In New Zealand, each year over 300 children are injured and around 17 die as a result of pedestrian injury.

A high pedestrian casualty rate in any community also indicates that drivers are travelling too fast for the conditions. Speeding drivers are likely to live in the area, as statistics show the majority of drivers involved in crashes live not far from the crash site. Council's Walking School Bus Co-ordinator, Kathy Williams says, "As well as reminding parents and caregivers to keep kids from playing on roads, we're also asking drivers to be extra vigilant when driving around their local areas. Children are so unpredictable and the best way to guard against tragedy is to keep your speed down and your attention focused."

While some schools within Manukau have implemented the Walking School Bus programme, Ms Williams encourages other schools to do so. "It's all about ensuring that our students travel to and from school in a safe, fun, and healthy environment."

The campaign message of "The Road's No Playground" is being promoted on radio, bus-stop advertising and bus-sides. It features All Black Tana Umaga, Silver Fern Bernice Mene, hip-hop singer Che Fu and female singing group Ma-v-elle.

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