School’s back: take care in school zones

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With the majority of schools starting back from Monday 23 January, drivers will be required to slow down around schools during the specified school zone times – generally from 7am to 9am and 2pm to 4pm, unless otherwise signed.

The beginning of the school year can be an especially challenging time, as many new students are unfamiliar with their surroundings and unsure of how to cross the road safely. Drivers returning from their own holidays are also often unaware of school zones being back in operation and the need to abide by an enforced speed limit.

After 5 years in the job, School Crossing Supervisor Lisa Kelly knows how important it is to educate children, parents and drivers on safe road use behaviours, particularly around schools. Lisa shared her experience with us.

As a Crossing Supervisor, I feel I’m able to help contribute to greater road safety by ensuring all pedestrians can cross safely. Whether its children on their way to and from school, parents doing the drop-off and pick-up or local members of the community, the crossing provides a safe avenue for them to travel from one side to the other.

It’s rewarding to know that I play a key part in keeping everyone safe. I also love the opportunity to be a part of the school community.

One of the best things about my role as a School Crossing Supervisor is getting to meet the kids and the parents. I enjoy the stories the kids share with me and its lovely seeing the world through their eyes; where the biggest problem they might have is a tooth that won’t come out!

Kids, as everyone knows, can be hilarious. One morning while waiting to cross the road, a prep boy said “oh you’ve got lots of rings Miss Lisa” and snuck over to look at my right hand. I then stopped the traffic and as the kids were crossing I heard him whisper: “Mummy, she’s been married four times!”

With the return of another school year, I urge all drivers to be extra attentive on the roads and to slow down near schools. Look out for children who may be excited or distracted and could dart out unexpectedly from behind other cars. Please also be patient while waiting in your car at the crossing to allow enough time for the supervisor and children to pass safely.

Similarly, I ask all parents and carers to remind their children about the best ways to stay safe on and around the road, especially if they’re travelling to or from school on their own.

It’s also important to be aware when you’re parking near a supervised crossing to make sure you use the allocated parking spaces, so we can clearly see past your car to the traffic flow.

Keep an eye out for me or your local crossing supervisor on the road this year! If you’re interested in becoming a school crossing supervisor and want to make a difference to the lives of children in your area, visit our website.

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Lisa Kelly

School Crossing Supervisor