Important road safety lessons as school returns
Motorists are being reminded to slow down in school zones and be aware of children crossing roads as Queensland students return to class this week.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey warned drivers school zone speed limits would be enforced from the beginning of the term.
“Many students will be in a hurry to catch up with friends after their Easter holiday and motorists are reminded to slow down to 40km/h in school zones and be prepared to stop suddenly,” Mr Bailey said.
“School zones keep students of all ages safe on their way to and from school and it is up to drivers to be aware and do the right thing.”
Mr Bailey said most school zones in Queensland operated between 7am to 9am and 2pm to 4pm, however people were encouraged to check the times in their areas.
“In recent years, flashing school zone signs have been used to heighten driver awareness around schools,” he said.
“They have been installed at more than 849 schools across Queensland since they were first introduced in 2011.
“Due to the success of the signs, the State Government has committed funds for a further 200 school zones to be upgraded between 2019–20 and 2020–21.
“School crossing supervisors also play a vital role to help students cross the road safely.
“At the end of January 2019, there were 690 schools in the supervised school crossing scheme with the department funding 1243 crossings staffed by about 1937 school crossing supervisors.”
Mr Bailey encouraged parents and carers to remind children about the best ways to stay safe near the road, especially travelling to or from school independently.
“Show children how to cross the road at the safest possible point such as traffic lights, a pedestrian (zebra) crossing, refuge, or a position highly visible to drivers,” Mr Bailey said.
“If they ride their bike or skateboard, make sure they always wear their helmet and safety gear and remind them of the safest route to travel.
“For those catching the bus or train, encourage them to leave with plenty of time to spare so they aren’t tempted to rush near the road to catch their service. And of course, remind children to only use the designated railway crossings.
“Because we all use the roads so much every day, sometimes it’s easy to forget just how dangerous they can be, especially for children who can often be distracted by their friends, their phone or music.
“Please encourage them to stay focused on walking or riding safely.
“The term holidays may be over, but the importance of road safety - whether on four wheels, two wheels or two legs should always be top of mind.”
Safe school travel tips
Top tips for parents and carers:
- Show your children how to look for vehicles coming in and out of driveways and discourage them from playing behind parked cars, or with toys or balls when walking to school
- ensure your child knows the safest route to and from school. This is usually the way with the least traffic and the fewest roads to cross and teach your child to always walk on footpaths
- show your child how to cross at traffic lights when the green 'walk' sign is showing, at pedestrian crossings when vehicles have stopped and at supervised school crossings
- accompany children when walking or riding to school until they are old enough to understand road safety (usually about 10 years or older)
- if children catch the bus, teach them to never cross in front of or behind a bus; wait until the bus goes before crossing the road.
- make sure wheeled devices (bicycle, scooter, skateboard, or rollerblades) used to travel to school are well maintained and appropriate protective and safety gear (helmet, visible clothing, knee and elbow pads) are used.