Police blitz tackles safer driving near schools


When Far North police officers went back to school last week they took along some lessons that included reminding parents "kids have legs".

The region-wide "Back to School" campaign that was timed for the start of the new term concentrated on safe driving outside schools at morning and afternoon rush periods.

Parents' and older students' driving and drop-off practices during those busy times affected the safety of other children, pedestrians and passing traffic, said Kerikeri Sergeant Phil Le Comte. Congestion outside schools in urban areas or on busy roads was often a problem, Mr Le Comte said.

"We were encouraging compliance issues and courtesy, and keeping traffic moving easily and safely."

The Back to School drive involved police being visible and proactive, checking seat belts, encouraging considerate driving, noting problems caused by dropping off and picking up pupils, and checking other motorists obeyed speed limits school bus passing rules.

"Overall, we were pleased but it highlights the fact there is still some selfish behaviour by parents outside schools," he said.

"Kids have legs. What's wrong with dropping them off 200m down the road?"

Mr Le Comte said the outside school safety campaign would be recurring.

- Northern Advocate

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