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Road safety - travel to and from school

22/11/2013

Ensuring that our students are safe travelling to and from school is a shared responsibility.

If your child walks to and from school: 

Teach your child to  “Stop, Look, Listen and Think”. Children should be introduced to the correct road crossing procedure – STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and THINK.

  1. STOP one step back from the footpath or shoulder of the road if there is no footpath.
  2. LOOK in all directions for approaching traffic.
  3. LISTEN in all directions for approaching traffic.
  4. THINK about whether it is safe to cross the road – when the road is clear or all traffic has stopped.
 

When crossing,  teach your child to walk straight across the road. Keep LOOKING and LISTENING for traffic while crossing. Talk to your child about how to cross the road safely by identifying and choosing the safest places to cross the road. These are:

  • a pedestrian (zebra) crossing – teach them to only cross when cars have stopped for them. There is a designated crossing on Rogers Street .  Please remind your child to use this crossing  instead of crossing across the top of Rogers Street.
  • pedestrian traffic lights – teach them to only cross when they can see the ‘green man’ or the green WALK sign and never cross when they can see a ‘red man’ or the red DON’T WALK sign.

If there are no crossings available, they should choose a safe place where they can see traffic in all directions and where drivers can see them. Also talk to children about the dangers of wearing headphones and listening to music when crossing roads. This can make it difficult to hear oncoming traffic.  If children want to listen to music when walking, encourage them to keep music at a reasonable volume and only use one headphone.

Parents and carers should always hold hands with children when they are near traffic, or the road. Young children lack the skills, knowledge, and judgement to be able to cope with traffic and therefore need to be constantly supervised.

When they are old enough to travel to and from school on their own, it is important to know the route your children take. You can learn about the hazards they may experience as pedestrians by travelling the route with them. As you walk with your children, consider the following questions:

  • Does the route follow the quieter streets?
  • Does it have the least number of road crossings?
  • Are there footpaths or do your children have to walk along the roadside?
  • Are there difficult intersections or railway lines along the route? • Are there signed, supervised or light-controlled pedestrian crossings?
  • Do your children look for a safe place to cross the road?
  • Do they use the 'Stop, Look, Listen and Think' procedure before crossing roads?
  • Is your younger child under the supervision of an older child or adult?
 

When you travel the route with your child, discuss how they can be safe on their journey. If the route seems too dangerous, look at some alternatives keeping the above questions in mind.

Note: If your younger child has to be in the care of an older child, please be aware that the older child may not have sufficient road sense or maturity to be able to supervise the safety of a young child. Meet your child at the bus stop after school so they learn to walk home or cross the road safely. Don’t call them across the road... walk across to meet them.

If you drive to and from school:

When children are arriving and departing from  school,  they are not thinking about cars. They want to have fun and their eagerness can often override their caution in traffic. The peripheral vision of a young child is a third narrower than the peripheral vision of an adult. Children are also physically smaller, so they have difficulty seeing vehicles and being seen by drivers, and are therefore more vulnerable to serious injury. Because of their size, and with the highly unpredictable nature of children, always slow down when driving around schools or risk a fine, demerit points, or worse – losing a child's life.

School zone speed limits (40 km/h) are in force on school days during specified hours.

Other tips to remember when driving around schools:
  • Never double park or park in 'no stopping' zones.
  • Don't park on pedestrian (zebra) crossings – it is also illegal to stop or park 20 metres before, or 10 metres after a pedestrian crossing. It makes it difficult for children to cross, and for other motorists to see children.
  • Don't park in no-stopping zones or use them as drop off areas. No Stopping means DO NOT STOP HERE for any reason unless obeying an official direction. Please note that the yellow lines on the road near the curb mean "No Standing." This means you cannot even STOP your vehicle and wait for your child.
  • You can drop off or pick up passengers in a 'No Parking' or school drop off/ pick up zone  as long as the vehicle is not left unattended and you exit the zone within two minutes. Our drop off/ pick up zone is supervised by parent volunteers and our teacher aides  every morning (8.45 – 9 am) and afternoon (3 -3.10 pm)
  • Park your car on the same side of the road as the school so your child doesn't have to cross the road. If you have to park on the other side of the road, escort your child across the road. Never call them to cross the road.
 

For more information about how you can help your child to be safe, and how you as a parent can ensure that you engage in safe driving behaviours, go to: