Hot car danger
Babies are still being left in hot cars.
The message is not getting through, even though there's plenty of publicity about it.
The Automobile Association gets about 1400 calls regarding being locked inside or outside a car every year, and more than half of them are for young children locked inside. This is a horrifying statistic for New Zealand.
On January 3, an infant was rescued from a hot car at the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre while his caregiver unloaded recyclable products, apparently unaware that it was dangerous to do so, even for just a few minutes. The police were not called at the time, but a file was opened following the incident.
A 59-year-old grandfather left his two preschool grandchildren in a car in Hamilton at the end of January. Fortunately, the children were rescued and someone called 111, so the police spoke to the man.
A police officer told me people should always call 111 if they see a child alone in a car and note the registration of the vehicle as well as taking a photo of it. That way, the police will take care of the situation. The child should also be removed from the hot car as soon as possible if he or she is distressed.
I'd like to see a programme for caregivers who come to the attention of the police because of a child being left alone in a car. Information about heatstroke could be given, and "offenders" could be put into a hot car for a few minutes to see how quickly the temperature rises.
What's the answer?
It's fine that David Hill has identified problems affecting civilisation on Planet Earth, but does he have a solution?
I'd like to publicly express my thanks to roading manager Rui Leitao and the roading team at Whanganui District Council for responding so promptly to my request for action on the Webb Rd-Portal St walkway up Durie Hill by installing new barriers and repaving the kerb to make the pathway accessible for mobility scooter users.
At the end of last year I was contacted by the facilitator of the Pedestrians on Wheels advocacy group regarding the safety concerns of a number of mobility scooter users on the walkway connecting Webb Rd to Portal St.
It's hugely encouraging to have a team of council officers willing to respond so promptly to these expressions of concern from our community.
Everyone in Whanganui should feel that our city is accessible, whether it be on foot, vehicle, bicycle, mobility scooter, or other mode of transport.
To have such a proactive team of officers at council demonstrates a solid commitment to our Leading Edge aspirations. Ka pai!
Whanganui District Councillor
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