Watch out, kids about

bike‘Watch out, kids about’, is the message for drivers from Waikato District Council and Police as school starts back.

Increased traffic and pedestrian volumes around schools means drivers must be vigilant.

Waikato district road safety co-ordinator Megan Jolly says “Children returning to school can be easily distracted by new surroundings or meeting up with friends.

“They may also have difficulty judging distances and could step out onto a crossing without warning, giving drivers little time to react.”

Parents dropping children at school also have an important part to play. “Please be a good role model and use approved crossings when they’re available and always get the children to exit the car from the left on to the footpath.”

Police will be patrolling around schools ensuring motorists keep their speeds down.

Huntly Police Strategic Traffic Unit Sergeant Neil Mansill says police will have a low tolerance for breaches of the speed limits and asks drivers to be cautious around schools and surrounding neighbourhoods.

“The faster you drive, the harder the impact. A person hit by a vehicle travelling at 30kph has a 95 per cent chance of surviving, whereas the survival rate for someone hit by a vehicle travelling at 50kph is only 55 per cent and at 70kph is only about five per cent.”

Motorists also need to remember the speed limit is 20km/hr when passing a school bus that has stopped to pick up or let off children.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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