The Back to School road safety campaign running during the early part of school terms aims to raise awareness of the vulnerability of children on roads near schools and encourage motorists to slow down. It makes the point that children may not have their mind on the dangers of the road and motorists need to be extra vigilant.
Auckland Transport (AT) is grateful to Mario Bennett from CSP Pacific who offered to partner with AT in the campaign by making their range of Variable Message Signs (VMS) available free of charge to schools when not in use. VMS are the lighted road-side information signs mounted on trailers that can be moved from place to place where motorists need special information. They are typically used at roadworks sites.
The school which Mario’s daughter attends - Royal Oak Primary - was the first trial location for the VMS in Term 4, 2014. Following great feedback from the school, students and community, the sign is now installed at South Auckland Middle School. Elliot Ikilei, Travelwise Lead Teacher and Community Liaison Manager at the school says, “The VMS is big, bright and great to see. It is an obvious beacon to safeguard our kids and keep the speed down; fakaaue lahi!!”
Managing speed on roads is critical to reducing deaths and serious injuries because the consequences of all crashes are strongly influenced by speed. The fact is, the faster you go the less time you have to react and the longer it takes to stop.
Children are most at risk, especially in the morning and afternoon when they are walking or cycling to and from school.
School-aged pedestrians (5 – 18 years) accounted for 32% of pedestrian deaths and serious injuries on Auckland suburban roads in 2013. Pedestrian casualties (deaths, serious and minor injuries) occur predominantly at school peak times (7am - 9am and 2pm - 4pm).
|“The VMS sign is a valuable addition to our toolbox for targeting drivers passing schools and Auckland Transport appreciates the ongoing support from CSP Pacific,” said Claire Dixon, Auckland Transport’s Manager of Community Transport Central South. “Mario is very approachable and always so happy to help.”|
For more information about this campaign click here.