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International safety award for Auckland City

International safety award for Auckland City



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AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL

MEDIA RELEASE

15 December 2006

International safety award for Auckland City

A walking school bus from Newton Central school yesterday (14 December) helped Mayor Dick Hubbard celebrate the part Auckland City played in winning a prestigious international award.

The “Iwalk” award was presented to Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) in October to recognise Auckland’s innovative walking school bus and Travelwise programmes.

As a member of ARTA, Auckland City is the first council to hold the trophy for a month until it is passed on to the other councils that are members of ARTA.

Mayor Dick Hubbard says winning this award was made possible through the outstanding contribution of participating school children, parent volunteers and supporting schools.

“Auckland City has been working hard to encourage more walking school buses to reduce the number of school trips taken by car. More than 2200 pupils have been involved in Auckland City’s walking bus initiative since the council established the first walking school bus in New Zealand in 1999, says Mr Hubbard.

“The walking school bus programme promotes safety, health and environmental issues, and physical activity among children. This is a great opportunity for parents and pupils to make a difference, and we will be encouraging more schemes in the new year.”

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Auckland City is committed to improving road safety around schools, investing $1.4 million in the last financial year to support the walking school bus programme, by introducing infrastructure such as speed bumps and pedestrian refuges.

ENDS

Notes to editor:

A walking school bus involves a group of children walking to and from school guided by adults taking turns as "conductors". The bus route can have meeting points, a timetable, and a regularly-rotated schedule of trained parents and caregivers helping children get to school.

Auckland City staff work closely with schools and parent volunteers to set up walking school buses that include undertaking hazard identification, establishment of safer routes, providing training, ongoing support and building strong relationships with the volunteers to ensure the sustainability of the walking school bus programme for each school.

The Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) assists Auckland city schools by administering funding applications for resources (such as high visibility vests and bus stop signs), facilitates annual health and safety workshops for parent volunteers, and develops regional resources.

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