A sign reading 'children crossing' on a street in Hawke's Bay has been labelled by one unimpressed resident as lazy parenting.

The homemade sign was nailed on to a tree on a chicane along Osier Rd in Greenmeadows, west of Napier.

"I think it is wrong that these parents are expecting drivers to look out for their kids and are not there helping their own children cross the street themselves.

"It is lazy and not the drivers responsibility."

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The resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said it was a suburban street not a playground.

While Family First national director Bob McCoskrie acknowledged that children needed to be watched when near the road at all times, he said it was also the responsibility of the driver.

"It is an interesting one, but it comes down to both the cars and the parents, you can't point the finger and it goes both ways."

"Personally, if I see a child near the road who looks like they may cross I slow right down and watch for the risk factor."

According to a new study by the University of Iowa, crossing a busy street required calculations too complex for children under the age of 14.

The study said children under the age of 14 were not cognitively capable of crossing a busy street because they lacked the perceptual judgment and physical skills needed to consistently get across safely.

Mr McCoskrie said study corresponding author and professor of psychological and brain sciences Jodie Plumert found some people thought younger children performed like adults when crossing the street.

She said this was not the case, especially with busy streets where traffic did not stop.

The resident who complained about the "children crossing" sign has grandchildren, and said she would always help them cross the road and didn't think the sign was an acceptable alternative.

Another resident who lived along Osier Rd anddid not want to be named agreed it was the parents' responsibility but didn't think the sign was lazy parenting.

She said there were a lot of children at end of the road so the sign acted as a warning and advised people to drive with caution.

"It is a busy stretch of road and I don't think there is anything wrong with it, it is just parents looking out for their children by encouraging drivers to slow down."

Mr McCoskrie advised people to target pedestrian crossings or traffic lights when crossing busy streets if they were available to them.

If not he said the best way to keep children safe was by training them to cross a certain stretch of road everyday so they get used to it.

Napier City Council director of infrastructure Jon Kingsford said the council would look in to it.

By early this afternoon, the sign had been removed.