Kids take on road safety message

CIARA PRATT
Last updated 05:00 15/02/2013
road safety
STRONG MESSAGE: Students from St Dominic’s College remind drivers to slow down around schools during peak times.

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Henderson students are making sure motorists get the message to slow down around schools.

Students from West Auckland schools including St Dominic's College and Waitakere College have been campaigning on roadsides this week urging motorists to slow down in school areas.

Auckland Transport's Slow Down around Schools campaign is in full swing, reminding motorists that the school year has started.

About 107 Auckland children are hospitalised each year as a result of incidents involving excessive speed near schools, according to Auckland Transport.

The current speed allowed around Auckland schools is 40kmh.

June Rodrigues is a teacher at St Dominic's College and has been involved in sharing road safety messages for seven years.

"Most motorists seem to be responding well to the message and it is effective. They are also being more careful to not park on yellow lines, which blocks traffic.

"The road outside our school is really busy at peak times so the signs are very important for us," she says.

Auckland Transport community co-ordinator Bindi Chouhan says using school students ensures the message is put across in a creative way.

"Last year we developed a leadership programme that went around secondary schools where students can become young leaders who deliver road safety messages, so it's all coming from them."

In 2010, Ministry of Transport statistics indicated that the peak times for child pedestrians to be injured was between 2pm and 4pm, followed by 8am to 9am.

The New Zealand Transport Agency reported that in the Auckland region over the past five years, 39 per cent of injury crashes involved pedestrians aged 19 or under.

Ms Chouhan says: "I think this is a message that still needs to be hammered home quite hard. When adults see kids standing with the signs, you can tell it does hit home. It's not about us as drivers, it's about the kids and their safety."

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