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Children Safe And Seen Thanks To New Safety Vests

1 February 2001

With school starting back this week, the New Zealand Police and McDonald's New Zealand are working together to ensure the safety of our children on the roads.

Every primary and intermediate school in New Zealand will receive fluorescent orange safety vests for their school patrol teams. The vests are a much needed safety item which will increase the visibility of the school patrol teams and ensure their safety.

To celebrate this new initiative, a national launch event will be held at Rata Street School in Naenae, Wellington tomorrow (Friday 2 February 2001). New Zealand Police Commissioner Rob Robinson and McDonald's CEO and Managing Director Alan Dunn spoke at the event highlighting the importance of school patrols in road safety.

"Road safety patrols are paramount to the safety of our children on the roads," says New Zealand Police Commissioner Rob Robinson. "The vests will ensure that the children responsible for the school patrols are safe and seen."

"We would like to acknowledge the excellent work undertaken by school patrol teams nationwide, and take this opportunity to remind parents to be careful when picking up and dropping off children from school," he said.

The New Zealand Police and McDonald's have worked in partnership promoting road safety since 1984 when the "Make it Click" message was first launched. Each year over 88,000 school children learn about road safety with Ronald McDonald and their Police Education Officer.

McDonald's CEO and Managing Director Alan Dunn says the organisation has a long-term commitment to road safety in the community.

"We are proud to support the production of these 8,000 safety vests because we see it as a natural progression in our long term support of road safety education. It makes sense for us to support programmes such as these which support safe and healthy families," says Mr Dunn.

McDonald's contribution to nationwide road safety programmes also includes partnering the New Zealand Police to produce the "Stepping Out", "Riding By" and "Out and About", curricula taught in schools nationwide.

School patrol teams are made up of students in their final year of primary school (year six / standard four). Usually, they undergo their first training class at the end of the prior year with the local police education officer and appointed teacher. Often they are also supported by parents and a buddy system which sees outgoing students train new school patrol members. From the beginning of this new school year, they will be assisted further with the introduction of the safety vests.

ends

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