There has been some publicity recently about safety concerns relating to parents dropping and picking up their children at local schools. While we appreciate the high number of our parents who ensure their and other children are safe during these busy times it is worth reminding everyone of some basic advice and road traffic laws. While we seek to educate and inform parents and students, at times the police may have to enforce road rules and we will cooperate with them should the need arise.
It is important for me to remind parents that students are expected to be at school at 8.15 and interestingly this is not a busy time for students to be dropped if they have to be.
- Encourage your child to walk, cycle or scooter to school – this is a healthy option and would reduce the traffic congestion currently experienced around the school (remember helmets!);
- If the walk to and from home is too far, try dropping or picking up your child a few minutes away from the school – this will have a similar positive benefit. There are several viable options for you to drop off: along Norwood Drive on the approach to Jeffs Road, in access roads to Valderama Drive or along Valderama Drive near the Staff Entrance (not at the crossing!);
- Try a lift club with a friend – that would halve the number of vehicles at peak times;
- Respect and exercise extreme caution near the level crossing – our students and duty staff as well as the students and parents crossing are at risk here and need your complete focus and attention;
- Do not worry about your child being late – it is better s/he arrives safely than being involved in or causing an accident.
During one week earlier this term teachers provided me with photographic evidence of some parents transgressing road traffic laws and putting their and other children in danger. Examples are including in this list:
- Stop or park illegally – stopping in the bus bay and over the no-stopping yellow lines is illegal;
- Let your child out of the car in the middle of the road (on any side of the car);
- Double park;
- Drive over the speed limit – particularly between 8.15 – 8.40 a.m. and 3 – 3.30 p.m.
I would also advise that you work with your child regarding punctuality which is an important life-skill and indicates a high degree of self-management necessary for success. In most cases the excuse we are given for students being late to school is that they overslept or the traffic was heavy that morning. Tough love and an alarm clock in the first instance as well as sorting out what is needed the night before and leaving a few minutes early to arrive at 8.15 is my quick and easy advice.
Our Travelwise team will continue its positive work with students regarding exercising safe and healthy choices about travelling to and from school. It will also be working with the local police when necessary to ensure that everyone contributes to a safe environment for our students.
Growing greatness – Kia mana ake!