Plea for driver care around schools

Publish Date : 22 May 2024

Franklin schools will join police, the Pukekohe Business Association and Auckland Transport in a road crossing safety programme.

Principals and the business network will provide ideas to shape the campaign, planned ahead of the onset of winter.

Franklin Local Board chair Angela Fulljames says winter means children can be even less vigilant crossing the road as they seek to get out of the rain and cold.

“We are still hearing from schools about vehicles not stopping at crossings, and impatient and speeding drivers.

“But it is not all driver behaviour, with concerns also raised around young people crossing without looking, and riding bikes and scooters across pedestrian crossings.

“Schools can help sort that, but children’s safety isn’t someone else’s concern, it is something we must all take responsibility for,” she says.

“Those seconds we save by perhaps whipping over a crossing could cost a child their life, and when that happens, lives are changed forever, including for the driver who has to live with the consequences of what has happened.”

Principals have already met with safety advocates, police and AT, and their joint campaign will focus on vehicle and child behaviour around schools, and after two recent fatal accidents, driveway safety.

That meeting heard schools were receiving complaints from parents about vehicles failing to give way at crossings and illegal parking causing visibility problems.

“Every year there are new little ones heading to school, so any safety programme has to be constantly repeated,” Fulljames says. “It’s more disturbing that messages for drivers and parents have to be too.”

AT says it’s essential the safety of children takes priority over the frustration of drivers facing minor delays.

Police have three dedicated School Community Officers who say they will support crossing and community safety work, including through enforcement and high visibility patrols around schools.

Stay connected

Sign up for your Local Board E-news and get the latest news and events direct to your inbox each month. Or follow us on Facebook

Back to News