Go slow for kids to walk

GO SLOW: Mudgee Public School teacher Lisa Smith, Year 5 student Edana England and Senior Constable Naomi Reitsma.

GO SLOW: Mudgee Public School teacher Lisa Smith, Year 5 student Edana England and Senior Constable Naomi Reitsma.

Drivers are being reminded to slow down in 40km an hour school zones on Walk Safely to School Day.

The national initiative held on Friday, May 19 is designed to promote road safety, health and public transport by encouraging parents to ditch the car and stretch their legs with their kids.

Mudgee Public School principle Allen Kerr is encouraging kids to walk and reminding drivers to take extra care on the roads.

“We now have over 600 children, that’s a lot of children who are coming to school around the same time each day,” he said.

“It’s so important to ensure the safety of the kids, as they cross roads, get off buses and walk to school each day.

More than one million students travel to schools across NSW each day. 

Senior Constable Naomi Reitsma from the Mudgee Highway Patrol said 40k zones have been in for a long time now, so drivers should have the message.

“Even when school zones aren’t running, there are still kids out and about, so it’s important to be careful around school zones even outside those marked times.

The Walk Safely to School Day initiative is seen as a valuable way to engage with parents, carers, teachers and students to highlight the importance of road safety.

Last year an estimated 320 schools and 3600 parents participated in the day.

The NSW Government is also improving pedestrian safety around school zones by investing $10 million for  additional school zone flashing lights and pedestrian safety infrastructure like raised zebra crossings and dragon’s teeth markings.

Construction on a new flashing school zone sign in Denison Street, Mudgee will start in the next few weeks, and should be operational by the end of July.

Another safety measure implemented near the primary school was the directional change of the give way signs at the Perry Street and Gladstone Street intersection, in June last year.

Drivers travelling along Gladstone Street now give way to drivers travelling along Perry Street, to reduce delays experienced by school buses.

Mudgee Primary School teacher Lisa Smith has praised the change saying “it has really helped with the traffic flow at drop off and pick up times.”

Children, parents and carers can access road safety information for young children at the safety town website safetytown.com.au.