Safeguard our children as schools go back
As schools reopen from this week, Police are reminding motorists to take extra care on the roads to safeguard our most vulnerable road users.
"With schools across the country reopening over this week and next, and with traffic flows in these areas returning to normal levels, let's do everything we can to safeguard our kids as they walk and cycle to school – some of them for the first time," says Superintendent Carey Griffiths, National Manager Road Policing.
"New pedestrians and cyclists are still building confidence and don’t have ability to anticipate dangerous situations. They are vulnerable road users, so it’s critical that we encourage them to take extra care.
"And with many families getting back into the routine of the school drop off and pick up, there is going to be more congestion on the roads in and around school areas," Mr Griffiths says.
"It’s important therefore that all drivers be aware of their speed and keep a watch out for children, particularly as there will be more kids walking, cycling and bussing to school. This means sticking to the speed limit, giving cyclists plenty of room and travelling at no more than 20km/h past a stationary school bus."
Motorists are also reminded that there is a permanent reduced 4km/hr speed threshold in place around schools, which has been in place since 2007.
"Children can be unpredictable, so motorists need to be well prepared to stop safely in and around school zones," Mr Griffiths says.
"Returning to school is often an exciting time for kids as they rush to catch up with friends, so they can be easily distracted and may not be paying as much attention to their surroundings. Parents are encouraged to re-establish safe walking and biking habits with their kids, even if it is a well-travelled route.
"If parents are able to walk to school with their kids, showing the safest place to cross roads, reminding them to look left and right and looking out for cars, they will be better prepared to keep themselves safe."
Mr Griffiths says drivers are also reminded to be considerate and sensible by not parking on yellow lines, in bus zones or where it is unsafe to drop children off. Motorways and other routes may also experience increased traffic congestion as the holidays come to an end.