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Source: New Zealand Police (National News)

Parents and drivers play an important role in keeping children safe from harm as they cycle, walk, bus, and scooter their way back to school.

As people are coming back from holidays to return to work, parents also need to prepare their children to start or go back to school. Police is encouraging parents to talk to their children about being safe around roads, and to remember to be safe themselves when they’re on the road.

“Young children can be excitable and can be distracted when they’re heading to and from school. That means they may forget to check before passing driveways, or miss hazards on the roads. So it’s important to instil in them just how important being safe around roads is,” says Superintendent Steve Greally, Director National Road Policing Centre.

“It is also important to remind them of these safety messages frequently, even as they become young adults. As teenagers they may be more prone to having their heads down in a phone, wearing earphones, and potentially not paying attention when they should be, such as when crossing a road.”

Police suggests parents sit down with their kids before the end of the holidays and have a conversation around road safety rules.

“If your child will be going to school on their own for the first time, show them the safest route to get to school and back home and practice with them, including the safest places to cross.

“It is important to remind children, and to remember ourselves as adults, that any time we cross a road we must stop, look, and listen for any cars, motorbikes, or cyclists before stepping out.

“If you’re wearing earphones, take them out or mute them for a minute and if you’re talking on the phone pause the conversation so that you can cross safely. The person you’re talking with will understand.”

Police is also reminding drivers about how to behave near schools and around school buses.

“If you break the rules – your children will think it’s OK for them to break the rules. That can put lives in danger, so be a good example for your children.

“Drivers also need to watch your speed around schools and be extra alert in case a child runs out in front of you without warning. Children can make mistakes, so always be aware.

Sometimes children can’t be seen if they are behind cars so look under cars for the possibility of feet. Stay below the 30km/h speed limit for passing schools and below 20km/h speed limit when passing school buses.

“Even small increases in speed result in a much greater increase in your stopping distance, and that can mean the difference between life and death for our children.”

Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) has road safety advice for families on their website at https://education.nzta.govt.nz/teacher-resources/school-community-partnerships/road-safety-advice-for-families/

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

MIL OSI