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Eyes On Our Tamariki As Schools Go Back

New Zealand Police would like to remind motorists to keep an eye out for our tamariki as schools begin to reopen this week.

Drivers need to be extra vigilant around schools, and keep in mind that children are highly unpredictable and likely to be very excited about catching up with friends, so they can be easily distracted and not paying much attention to their surroundings.

We need to do everything we can to safeguard our kids as they walk or cycle to school – some of them for the first time.

Slow down in and near school zones and take care when passing school buses.

The speed limit is 20km/h when passing school buses dropping off or picking up children.

If you are walking your children to school, show them the safest place to cross roads, reminding them to look left and right and look out for cars.

Walking school buses are another great way to keep our kids safe.

They are also a good way to take advantage of the summer weather and connect with your local community.

Also make sure you allow plenty of time for school drop offs, so you are not rushed and can give the road the full attention it needs.

Remember you are setting an example to the younger generation of how road users need to be safe and smart on our roads.

Top tips for motorists:

  • Be alert for children - they can be unpredictable.
  • Slow down in and near school zones or residential areas and come to a complete stop at all intersections.
  • Look for clues such as crossing guards, bicycles and playgrounds which indicate children could be in the area.
  • Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs that children could dart into the road.

Safe walking tips for parents:

  • Young children should be accompanied by an adult, older child, or a buddy.
  • Involve children in selecting the safest route to school and home.

Take a practice walk with your children along the route so they become familiar with it.

  • Teach children to stop, listen and look for approaching and turning vehicles.
  • Discuss the use of crosswalks, and why it's safer to cross at some corners rather than others.
  • Discuss the meaning of traffic signals and markings along the route.
  • Teach them to cooperate with Police, school safety patrols and crossing guards.
  • Contact the school and see if there is a walking school bus available.

If not, look at setting up one yourself.

When picking up or dropping off children:

  • Ensure children get in and out on the footpath side of the car.
  • Park safely, away from yellow lines, intersections and driveways.
  • Don't double park outside a school.

Park further away if necessary and walk with your children to and from the school gate.

  • Drive slowly outside schools and be prepared to stop in case children dart out.

--- Superintendent Steve Greally, Director: National Road Policing Centre

© Scoop Media

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