The new school year is set to resume for thousands of local students next week and Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils are reminding local drivers and parents about children’s safety around schools.
The Councils’ Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, said that road crashes account for over half of all accidental deaths among children aged 5 – 14 years old.
“Children are vulnerable road users. They are at risk in the traffic environment because of their size, their difficulty in judging speed and distance, as well as the fact that they may behave unpredictably. “Drivers will need to pay extra attention and be patient with schools reopening as there are more cars, buses and cyclists on the roads and young pedestrians crossing the streets.
“It is important that drivers slow down in school zones so they are in a better position to react to the unpredictable behaviour of school children as well as the busy traffic environment,” said Melanie.
There are 40km/h school speed zones in existence around all schools in NSW. School zones are operational between 8 – 9.30am and 2.30 – 4pm on school days.
Police will be targeting school zones to ensure drivers obey the 40km/h speed limit when school returns.
“Parents and carers can help students remain safe by regularly reinforcing important road safety behaviours with their children and following the below tips,” said Melanie.
Parents and carers should:
• Always make sure your children wear a seatbelt or use a child restraint when travelling in a car.
• Always drop-off and pick-up your chil dren on the school side of the road.
• Make sure children use the footpathside door when getting in and out of a car.
• Never call your children across the road to you.
• Use a pedestrian crossing where possible and avoid being distracted.
• Children aged up to 10 years old should always be supervised when near traffic.
• Children aged up to eight years old should always hold an adult’s hand when crossing the road or walking near traffic.
• Make sure your children always wear a helmet when riding a bike.
• If your children catch a bus, always walk with them to the bus stop.
For further information please contact Melanie
Suitor on (02) 6861 2364.