School pick-up and drop-off times can be busy, stressful and distracting for children and parents/carers.
With cars and buses coming and going and an increase in pedestrian activity, and all this happening in a concentrated period of time, you can see why being safety conscious around schools is extremely important.
The NSW Centre for Road Safety has an excellent guide that covers all the do’s and don’ts of school pick-ups and drop-offs (you can access the full guide here), here though are some of the key things you should keep in mind:
- If you are driving in a school zone, make sure you stay alert and under the 40km/h speed limit.
- Look for buses pulling out and for their flashing lights.
- Avoid possibly dangerous driving manoeuvres such as U-turns and three-point turns.
- Park safely even if it means walking further to the school gate.
- Never double park as it puts children at risk.
- Always give way to pedestrians, particularly when entering and leaving driveways.
- Drop your children off and pick them up on the school side of the road in your school’s designated drop off and pick up area.
- Calling out to children from across the road is dangerous – they may run to you without checking for traffic.
- It’s safest for children to get out of the car on the kerb side of the road to be away from passing traffic.
- Talk with your children about Stop, Look, Listen and Think every time they cross the road.
- Until they turn ten, hold hands with your child as you cross the road.
- After school, meet your child at the school gate. At the end of the school day children may be excited, distracted and tired and may not concentrate on road safety.