Call to drive carefully near schools

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Police are warning motorists to be alert at the start of today's school term.
Police are warning motorists to be alert at the start of today's school term.

Eastern Police want to remind road users to slow down and be aware around schools as Bay children head back to school for term three today.

Police will be actively patrolling school zones to ensure all children get to and from school safely.

Constable Ashley Roberts says it's important to be extra aware when driving near schools, particularly around peak times, as children's behaviour around roads can be unpredictable.

"No one wants to be responsible for a child being seriously hurt or killed, so we need to pay extra attention on the roads," he said.

Police will be dedicating extra staff to school zones throughout the week, in both high visibility patrols and covert enforcement.

Last year when Police did this 171 tickets were issued for offences ranging from speeding past a school, not wearing seatbelts and using cellphones while driving.

"These kinds of results aren't acceptable and we hope to see an improvement this year," Constable Roberts said.

"People should know the rules and stick with them.

"Speeding in school zones is something we'll be focusing on particularly closely.

"If a child is hit by a vehicle travelling at 50km/h they have next to no chance of surviving the collision.

"For that reason, we'll be policing this strictly and no excuses will be accepted."

Lower speed limits around schools are in place to give children a better chance when things go wrong so please, slow down.

"Remember, mistakes happen, but it's your speed that decides the outcome."

It's also important to remember to lower your speed to 20km/h if passing a school bus taking on board or dropping off children.

"This rule is in place in case a child runs out unexpectedly, something that is a particular problem on our rural roads," Constable Roberts said.

"Instant fines of $150 will be issued to anyone who fails to slow down.

"Pedestrian crossings can create a false sense of security for children who assume that they can just walk out because of the painted lines."

Parents need to ensure their children heading to school have adequate supervision near roads and that they use proper crossings.

For students biking to school, make sure they they're wearing a properly fitting helmet, highly visible clothing and have a bike that is safe.

"Co-operate with these rules and you'll help us keep our children safe."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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