The new school year is set to resume for thousands of local students next week and Forbes, Parkes 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 five to 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.
“Drivers are reminded to slow down, pay extra attention and be patient when school resumes as there are more cars, buses and cyclists on the road, and young pedestrians crossing the streets. Over the long summer break it is easy to forget just how busy and congested the streets around schools can get. This is especially important in country areas with higher speed limits, limited bus stop signage and no footpaths.”
“Please obey the parking signs around schools. They are there to keep children safe. The most common are ‘No Stopping’ and ‘No Parking’. You cannot stop in a ‘No Stopping’ zone, however you can drop-off or pick-up passengers in a ‘No Parking’ zone as long as you are only there for two minutes and are no more than three meters away from your car,” Melanie said.
There are 40km/h school speed zones in existence around all schools in NSW. Most school zones are operational between 8am-9.30am and 2.30pm-4pm on school days, when the lights are flashing. Police will be targeting school zones to ensure drivers obey the 40km/h speed limit when school returns.
“Road safety around schools is everybody’s responsibility – students, teachers, parents, carers and drivers. We all have a part to play,” Melanie said.