The new school year resumed for thousands of local students this 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 inability to judge speed and distance, as well as the fact that they may behave unpredictably.” Melanie went on to remind drivers to slow down, pay attention and demonstrate patience when school resumes and there are more cars, buses and cyclists on our streets, as well as young pedestrians crossing the street.
It is important that drivers obey parking signs around schools, remembering that they cannot stop in a ‘No Stopping’ zone, however it is allowed for a driver to drop-off or pick-up passengers in a ‘No Parking’ zone as long as they are only there for two minutes and are no more than three meters away from the car. Police will be targeting school zones to ensure drivers obey the 40km/h speed limit when school returns.
Parents and carers should ensure children wear a seatbelt or appropriate restraint when travelling in a car and always drop-off and pick-up children on the school side of the road.
Melanie stated that “parents and carers can help students remain safe by regularly reinforcing important road safety behaviours with their children” and said that “road safety around schools is everybody’s responsibility – students, teachers, parents, carers and drivers. We all have a part to play.”
For further information please contact Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, on (02) 6861 2364.