Drivers urged to exercise caution and patience as school classes resume

With students from specialist schools, pre-schoolers and children of essential workers back to school for Term 3, Council is reminding parents and carers to exercise caution and patience when dropping off or collecting children from school.

A reduced 40kmh speed limit will apply on weekdays within school zones across Maroondah as students, including those in Year 11 and 12, and Year 10 students attending schools for VCE and VCAL classes, head back to school under a revised Stage 3 ‘Stay at home’ lockdown.

Councillor Rob Steane, Chair of the Maroondah Community Safety Committee, said recent feedback from both motorists and pedestrians suggest children’s safety around schools is being greatly compromised by poor driver behaviour.

“While the majority of people are using the designated school parking areas, there have been instances and complaints of drivers being illegally parked and stopping in school zones which creates dangerous situations,” Cr Steane said.

“Vehicles that stop beside parked cars are ‘double parking’ and are breaking the law. Double parking interferes with the flow of traffic and can cause accidents. Potential consequences of children getting out of cars amidst traffic is frightening, let alone children who are exiting cars on the traffic side of a double-parked vehicle,” he said.

Cr Steane said anyone who is seen or photographed double parking by Maroondah local laws traffic officers will receive an infringement notice.

“Similarly, ‘No Stopping’ means just that, no stopping at any time, unless otherwise stated on the sign. Stopping to let someone out of or into a car regardless of whether you leave the engine running or stay in the vehicle is not allowed.

“Parking rules exist around schools to keep children and parents safe. It is imperative that drivers take note of parking restrictions and regulations – they are enforced around schools with regular patrols by Council local law traffic officers. Drivers who fail to abide by the parking rules will be fined accordingly,” Cr Steane added.

The Victorian Education Department has developed a Return to School Operations Guide to support schools manage the return to on-site schooling, including implementing staggered start and finish times.

Staggered drop-off and pick-ups were introduced last term following a staged reopening of schools in order to reduce the number of adults around school grounds at any one time.

“With many students returning to on-site learning and the increase in traffic flow around schools, motorists are urged to be patient, to stick to the 40kmh school speed zone limits and take extra care when driving around schools and allow students to cross the road safely,” Cr Steane said.

Parents are encouraged to observe physical distancing measures by not congregating in areas around schools. Please keep 1.5 metres from each other while at or around school gates. If you or your child are unwell, please stay at home.

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