Community & Environment

Vigilance needed as kids head back to school

Students crossing Collins Rd

With students starting to return to school in the coming week, Hamilton drivers are being urged to keep an eye out for kids walking, biking and on scooters as they head to and from school.

Motorists can expect to see students and more traffic on the streets from Tuesday 29 January. As well as older school students, pupils from 61 primary schools will be returning or starting school, including those at the brand new Te Ao Marama school in Rototuna.

Hamilton City Council School Travel Co-ordinator Cam Ward says drivers need to be particularly vigilant around schools.

“Children can be unpredictable, so drivers need to be prepared to stop. They also need to keep to the 40km/h speed limits in place around schools, which are there to increase drivers’ chances of reacting to an unexpected situation.”

Drivers also need to keep an eye out for and obey the signals from school patrol teams who will be out at pedestrian and kea crossings, all helping students get safely to and from school, says Cam.

“The start and end of the school day are times of extra risk on our roads, but if drivers are patient and sharp-eyed then our kids will be more likely to get to and from school safely.

“We’d also suggest parents talk to their children about being safe getting to and from school as well as identifying specific hazards or areas where they need to take extra care.”

The Council is also encouraging parents and caregivers to ‘mix it up’ at school pickup, and consider other ways of getting children home than the car, to ease the pressure around the school gate.

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