In February this year, Police and Clutha District Council collaborated to re-invigorate road safety signs.
The signs showcase safety messages around the four main behaviours that contribute to death and injury on the road; not wearing a seatbelt, driving impaired, driving distracted, and going too fast for the conditions, or speeding.
There were strict guidelines to follow in relation to their content, font, words, and size so they were suitable to be put up on the roadside.
Constable Rochelle Gordon, School Communities Officer from Balclutha teamed up with Rachel Harrison, Road Safety Co-ordinator for the Clutha District Council to help high school students design a billboard which clearly spelled out the safety messages.
Constable Gordon says “This was about having the local high school and area schools design a billboard concentrating on life-saving road safety messages. These were designed so our local youth could have a say on what they think is important for their area, have pride in their creations, and share them so their friends, parents, and the people in their communities can see an important road safety message.”
Rachel Harrison, Road Safety Co-ordinator for the Clutha District Council says “The project took a while to complete as resource consent had to be gained and there was a delay in getting the signs erected due to the restraints of COVID – 19. A lot of local businesses came on board to donate prizes for the winners, which was really great”, she says.
These signs were put up in all major local townships that make up the police area of South Otago and is just one of the projects that Constable Gordon and Ms Harrison have been working on.
“We have been getting around schools with road safety messages and are also working with one school on selecting traffic wardens. We have another school getting better signage for children crossing a busy road in Balclutha, says Constable Gordon.
“Police and Council have a great working relationship and our biggest project we have recently started is the Clutha District branch of the “Drive My Life programme” to get people through the graduated licence system. There has been a 100 percent pass rate for the first learners licence course, which is fantastic,” she says.
“Jointly, we have also recently secured funding through the Otago Community Trust to purchase a vehicle so Police can start giving driving lessons for the vulnerable elderly, new migrants to the area, and recidivist driving offenders who require restricted through to full licences,” says Constable Gordon.
Ms Harrison agrees “We are excited to be starting this next chapter of the course once COVID levels come down to make this work-able.”