Kingston Council is urging drivers to ‘save lives, not time’ and drive slowly around school crossings in a new road safety campaign launching to coincide with the start of the new school year.
With reports of drivers running red lights at school crossings, speeding in school zones, and refusing to stop for crossing supervisors, our school communities are pushing the importance of safe driving around our local schools, especially at drop-off and pick-up times.
Kingston Mayor Hadi Saab said along with our passionate students and teachers, we’re calling time on dangerous driving near schools.
“We manage 83 school crossings, and our amazing crossing supervisors have reported many frightening traffic incidents. Sadly, a few have reported they’ve been subjected to verbal abuse from irate drivers,” Cr Saab said.
“This type of behaviour on our roads and particularly around our schools is disgusting, downright dangerous and simply won’t be tolerated.
“As we enter the new school year, we want to foster a new level of respect – respect between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, respect for our supervisors and respect for the road rules.
“The Save Lives, not time! campaign messaging is being promoted via all our Council channels, targeted outreach to the schools, a roving messaging board, and installed on banners outside every school across Kingston during term 1.”
Yammerbook Ward Councillor Tamsin Bearsley said she hopes the campaign encourages more families to walk to school.
“Walking is healthier for the kids, better for the environment and will help alleviate the traffic and congestion around our schools,” Cr Bearsley said.
At St Bede’s College in Mentone, the Active Youth Student team worked with Council’s traffic safety officers to create the slogans ‘Be aware. We all share the road’ and ‘It can’t happen to me… until it does’.
They want to educate motorists and students on bikes of the dangers of not being aware and respectful of each other and thanks to VicRoads funding, we worked with the students to arrange the design, printing, and installation of banners around the college.
A similar project has been undertaken at Westall Secondary College targeting motorists in the vicinity of the Westall Primary and Secondary Colleges.
The slogans the students want on bright colourful posters outside their schools include ‘Life is not a game, don’t play it’, ‘Take action, stop the distraction’ and ‘Save lives, not time’.
In Kingston our children don’t have to wait until primary school to learn about traffic safety either, with our local kindergartens and early childhood centres being provided with traffic-safety stickers with fun designs such as a helmeted dinosaur on a scooter and the message ‘Stop. Look. Listen. Think.’