Caution urged as schools reopen

Last updated 13:00 03/02/2014

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Police are urging all road users to exercise extreme caution as children return to school.

Police would be doing everything possible to ensure children remained safe heading back to school on the district's roads, Tasman District road policing services team leader Senior Sergeant Grant Andrews said.

He said a high visibility operation to monitor speed around schools and when passing a school bus was planned for the coming week when primary students were returning.

Drivers are reminded of the 4kmh tolerance around schools and the 20kmh limit when passing a school bus picking up or dropping off children.

There will also be checkpoints where all drivers will be breathtested and have their driver's licence checked to ensure they were not in breach of any graduated licence conditions.

Mr Andrews said anyone breaching conditions of a graduated driver's licence could expect to receive 35 demerit points and an infringement of $100.

"We know a lot of students on restricted licences are tempted to give their mates a lift and that's going to cost them."

He said officers would also be checking that all passengers in vehicles were wearing an appropriate seatbelt or child restraint and reminded drivers that children were required to be in a car seat or booster up until the date of their seventh birthday.

"On top of that we'll be keeping a close eye out for people texting or talking on cellphones and they, too, can expect to get an infringement notice," he said.

"At the end of the day we want to see all children return to school safely. All drivers need to be aware that children are returning and school crossings will be operating again so patience will be required if there is congestion."

Mr Andrews urged parents to ensure their younger children were adequately supervised when travelling to and from school.

"Parents also need to ensure their child has the road safety skills to ride a bike to school or to cross the road on their own," he said.

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