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 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. When the orange (wig wag) lights on the back of a school bus are flashing, you must slow down to 40km/h, as students are either getting on or off the bus.
“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,” Ms Suitor said.
There are 40km/h school speed zones 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. The school zone in Bushman Street, Parkes, is operational all day from 8am – 4pm.
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 these safety tips,” Ms Suitor said.
Parents and carers should;