Watch before you walk

SONIA BEAL
Last updated 13:13 30/01/2014
Emma Jordan
Derek Flynn
Safety first: Emma Jordan and her daughter Aaliyah Ratukalou, 4, make sure the road is clear before crossing as they leave Springlands Kindergarten in Blenheim.

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Parking next to a pedestrian crossing during peak pick-up and drop-off times around schools blocks children's view of the road and puts them at risk, a Blenheim police officer says.

The Marlborough District Council in conjunction with Blenheim police is issuing a road safety pamphlet for parents and caregivers to stop illegal parking around schools, when the majority of schools go back next week to begin the new year.

Senior constable and school community officer Sue Bush, of Blenheim, said illegal parking, however brief it was, which occurred around schools was a hazard for young children, especially when people parked near pedestrian crossings.

"We've got to get away from this theory, ‘I'm only going to be there for a minute'," Constable Bush said.

"They're blocking the view of other drivers and pedestrians for a safe crossing."

Parents or caregivers who parked on broken yellow lines or double parked were also parking illegally. If caught, drivers could be fined between $40 and $60 for such offences.

Constable Bush said it was important for drivers to realise that children could not see as much as adults when crossing the road.

"Drivers need to put themselves at their [child's] height," she said.

"The traffic is twice as big as them, and there's some things they can't see. They aren't able to see the line of cars travelling along the road like adults can - it's only what's in front of them."

Police would be keeping a look-out for drivers who were speeding and parking illegally around schools, she said.

Emma Jordan, of Springlands, walks her 4-year-old daughter Aaliyah Ratukalou back and forth to Springlands Kindergarten. She said she often saw drivers double parking or parking on broken yellow lines during peak pick-up and drop-off times.

"Some will be there 20 minutes before the day finishes and sit there and wait," Miss Jordan said.

As it was fairly difficult to get a good park during those times, quite a few people drove down Aston St and turned around in a driveway, which was troubling as a parent, she said. "They pull in not thinking about the school area they live in and not even looking to see whether there could be a kid in the driveway."

The official NZ Rode Code says you cannot park on, or closer than 6 metres to, the approach side of a pedestrian crossing.

 

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- The Marlborough Express

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