Press Release – Motor Trade Association
With Monday 30 January marking the start of ‘back to school’ for most children, the Motor Trade Association (MTA) is urging motorists to be extra vigilant around schools and childcare facilities, particularly around peak school pick up and drop …19 January 2012
Be wary of peak school drive times says MTA
With Monday 30 January marking the start of ‘back to school’ for most children, the Motor Trade Association (MTA) is urging motorists to be extra vigilant around schools and childcare facilities, particularly around peak school pick up and drop off times.
MTA spokesperson, Ana Zandi says that this is the start of a busy time for many parents. “As well as the normal worries of dropping off and picking up children, there is, for many, the additional concern of things like stationery lists, new uniforms and out of school activities to consider. It’s easy to be distracted just by the sheer volume of things to be thinking about, hence people need to remind themselves that they are back into their routine,” Zandi says.
Statistics show that the peak times for injury accidents involving pedestrians coincides with school drop off and pick up times – 8.00 to 9.00am and 3.00 to 4.00pm.
“All drivers, not just parents need to be totally aware of what’s happening around school zones, school buses and daycare centres. Safety has to be the first priority, even though this usually takes place when people typically have a lot on their minds. The rush to beat traffic and make appointments or start times can lead to drivers concentrating on their own needs at the expense of children, students or other road users.”
New Zealand, like many other developed countries has seen a shift in transportation patterns around schools, especially in recent years. Many more parents drive their children to and from school, while there is a growing tendency for older secondary students to have a car at school. Both mean there is a lot more activity and congestion around what are often relatively limited pick-up and drop-off points around schools. Instances of double parking, passengers getting into and out of vehicles on the ‘wrong’ side and excessive speeds are commonplace outside many schools.
Zandi adds “We would urge those dropping children off at school or daycare to be especially careful as they start the year. Being safer around schools and daycares should be a priority, all year round.”
Things parents, carers and drivers can do include the following.
• Observe the posted speed limits outside schools and daycare centres, typically 30 km/hr
• Ensure that whoever is driving, is appropriately licensed to carry passengers
• Be familiar with school or daycare pick-up and drop-off points and procedures
• Don’t double park – a hazard at the best of times, it’s especially dangerous where you can have children darting from between parked vehicles
• Agree safe procedures for children being picked up – where to stand, when to cross, which door to get in and out of
• Be especially aware if you need to back your vehicle – children are hard to spot from inside many vehicles
• Ensure kids are properly seated in appropriate seats. If you are unsure whether they have been correctly installed, visit your nearest MTA member.