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Road safety focus as children prepare for school

Road safety focus as children prepare for school

It's expected to be a busy time on the roads over the next week as families make the most of Auckland anniversary weekend before the children head back to school.

Settled weather is forecast across the Bay of Plenty for the weekend so no doubt outdoor activities will be high on the agenda and police fully anticipate increased traffic flows particularly around the lakes, beaches and tourist attractions.

Road Policing Manager Inspector Kevin Taylor said: "Whether you are going on a short trip or a longer journey, plan it well, allow plenty of time and show consideration while sharing the road."

After the weekend's fun in the sun, the focus turns to keeping our children safe on our roads. The new school year gets underway and children are particularly vulnerable as they travel to and from schools on foot, and on bikes or scooters.

"There will be a lot of excited and nervous littlies starting school for the first time and many others catching up with their friends after the long summer break. They will easily be distracted; losing awareness of their surroundings and an appreciation of the risks.

"Many youngsters also don't often have the ability to accurately judge speed and distance, particularly when crossing the roads. They may over-estimate the how much time they have to safely get to the other side," said Inspector Taylor.

Police patrols will be increased around schools in both urban and rural areas and will be enforcing parking offending and monitoring speeds. Police staff will also be checking that all occupants of vehicles are wearing seatbelts and approved child restraints.

"It is important that all motorists are alert, careful, considerate and patient. Congestion is inevitable around schools, so regardless of the posted speed limit drivers need to slow down and be prepared for the unexpected. Children's safety is the responsibility of us all, not just parents," said Inspector Taylor.

Parents are also being urged to discuss with their children road safety and ensure their children have coats and bags that make them highly visible and the right safety equipment if cycling to school.


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