Road safety experts from SA Police are urging anyone with young children returning to school on Monday (29 January) to consider a visit to the Road Safety Centre over the long weekend.
The fully fenced, free mock roadway at the centre, at the Thebarton Police Barracks on Port Road, will be open to the community across the Australia Day weekend – providing a safe opportunity to talk about road rules with youngsters.
Children can ride their own bikes on the mock roadway (entry off Bonython Park), which has realistic streets including pedestrian crossings, an intersection with traffic lights, a roundabout and a variety of traffic signs for riders to observe.
“After the long summer break it is important that parents and caregivers take some time to talk about road safety with their children,” Senior Sergeant Sue O’Connor, the officer in charge of the Road Safety Centre, said.
“Whether they walk to school, ride a bike, or are getting out of the car in busy streets, there are important rules to highlight for their safety.
“Police will be out in force on Monday around schools as Term One of the year gets underway, but before then I invite everyone to pop down to the road safety centre.”
The mock roadway is open during day light hours.
At the centre today with students from St Peters Lutheran College, Senior Sergeant O’Connor said motorists should remember that excitement or nerves may also impact the behaviour of children on Monday.
“I would remind everyone who is on the roads to be wary and take extra care on Monday – both in the morning and when school gets out in the afternoon.
“Children can be less visible, their behaviour less predictable and their judgement less well-honed than adults.
“Police will have a highly visible presence around schools on Monday, but we can’t be everywhere, so it is vital that everyone takes steps to protect our most vulnerable road users.”
Key messages for children:
WALKING TO SCHOOL
Where possible walk with family or friends
Walk a familiar route
Use marked crossings
Walk don’t run – make sure sufficient time is allowed to ensure a child is not rushing
Stop and look both ways before crossing the street
RIDING TO SCHOOL
A helmet must be worn, no matter how short the ride
Where possible ride with family or friends using bike lanes where possible
Follow normal road rules, riding on the footpath where appropriate and obeying crossing signals
TAKING A BUS (or other public transport) TO SCHOOL
Always wait for the bus, tram or train to stop before getting on or off
Wait until the bus has moved on before crossing the road
Pay attention to other traffic in the area
Stay in the bus driver’s view
Never move around on the bus - take a seat and stay there
DRIVING TO SCHOOL
Wear a seatbelt on all journeys
Get out of the car on the footpath side of the vehicle
Don’t double park outside a school
Try to allow sufficient time to arrive at your designation without rushing