I recently spent the morning watching parents and caregivers drop the most precious things in their worlds off at school.
What was shocking and disappointing was the terrible and dangerous driving that was on show.
I won’t name the school, but to those who are wondering, yes, I have been in contact with the principal and the police.
The driving was that bad.
When reading this list, just consider, as I did when watching it all unfold in front of my eyes, this could be your child or grandchild being put in danger by people just not concentrating.
On display, in no particular order:
- Drivers not indicating when pulling up to a curb or entering a road. On one occasion, a ute behind one of the cars had to brake suddenly and then, out of frustration, sped off. The driver of the turning car had no idea.
- When the school buses arrived, people were driving past at more than 20kmh. Please remember the limit is 20kmh either way when passing a school bus.
- Drivers not stopping and waiting three seconds at stop lines.
- Drivers cutting the corners and getting very close to the footpath.
- Children in the front seat when no-one was in the back. It is far safer for a child to travel restrained in the back of a car.
- Late drop-offs. Children, who were obviously worried, ran across a car park and then the road. Some children who were obviously not confident in crossing the road were left to cross on their own.
To cap it all, the number of people texting or using a mobile phone was incredible.
I attended the school that morning after a concerned parent contacted me and wanted to discuss how we could make the situation safer.
I’m now left wondering: is this a one-off, or is this school no different from all the others across the district?
I could ramble on about what I think is right and wrong, but what was clear as anything that day was that it wasn’t one or two. Many of the people dropping children off that morning were putting their own children and others at unnecessary risks.
On a brighter note, I also saw very mature and level-headed children, crossing the road and taking time to take in the surroundings and trying to be as safe as possible.
Please Waitaki, take care when driving around the district.
Children are unpredictable, so a little extra care when driving past schools would be appreciated.
Drive safer, Waitaki
- Jason Evered is the Waitaki District Council road safety coordinator.