It's that time where all the year's hard work culminates in celebration and, today I am at the Whangārei Aquatic Centre with pupils from Whangārei's primary schools who have helped safely escort their peers to and from school.
It's my second year of doing road patrol duty; three years ago, I accompanied my son. This year, my daughter volunteered, and little has changed.
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By this I mean, from my experience, only around 20 per cent of motorists will stop to let waiting pedestrians cross at the zebra crossing. While some motorists simply cruise on by oblivious, many will slow down, cast a casual look around, before carrying on their merry way.
Some will even notice a line of stationary vehicles on the other side of the road, slow down, roll to almost a complete halt and, just as our young patrollers get ready to swing the sign out – just tricking, they decide to roll right through.
It's perplexing all round and I suggest motorists re-read their road code and realise they must always stop when a pedestrian is waiting to cross. It's old-school rules so nothing new.
Funnily enough, the time the police officer stood with us, everyone generously decided to stop that day …
Now that I have got that safety message out of the way, let's move onto today's celebrations; every year Whangārei police reward these kids who have foregone their play time and withstood the elements for their duty.
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Over several days, around 500 students from 20 schools around the district come together to spend the day frolicking in the wave pool, whizzing down the slide and popping outside for free sausages, courtesy of Pak'nSave, Road Safety Northland and Blue Light.
Senior Constable iwi liaison officer Mario Kake is manning the sausage sizzle, along with colleagues, handing out about 1000 sausages over the four days.
"The main reason we do this is to show our appreciation of the kids who do volunteer road patrol and bus warden duty - just for the hard work they do standing out in the rain all the time," he said, adding that the duty also builds confidence for the children.
Constable Kake was surprised by the observed number of motorists who failed to stop and had the following message:
"Motorists need to be aware when approaching a road crossing, no matter if it is outside a school or a general public area, that they need to adhere to warning signs and to keep to the speed limit when passing schools, which is 40km per hour and 20km per hour when approaching a school bus.
"When approaching a school road patrol, it's simple, you need to stop when people are there."