A schoolboy's drone footage has finally sparked action by Auckland Transport on streets around a North Shore school where parents have set up unofficial pedestrian crossings.
Hauraki School student Elliot Gulik, aged 10, used a friend's drone to film crossings which his mother Jackie Gulik helps to operate for children going to and from the school across Waitematā St and Walter St.
About 20 parents have used orange cones and high-vis vests to operate the crossings for the past 18 months because Auckland Transport has refused to create official pedestrian crossings in the two streets, despite "a long line of near-misses" in which cars almost hit children in the two streets.
"The drone footage has definitely sparked some activity in Auckland Transport," Jackie Gulik said.
"I shared that with our Devonport-Takapuna Local Board. I have been asking every week for an engineer to come and visit our school, but it's just not a priority.
"Finally, after the drone footage, we had a meeting with an engineer and other members of Auckland Transport and the local board and the school and myself two weeks ago, and I have seen Auckland Transport having people up there counting people, so it feels like it's on their radar."
The school at 82 Jutland Rd is several blocks away from busy Lake Rd and draws most of its 502 students from west of Lake Rd, making the area relatively safe to walk to school.
It operates three walking school buses, two of which feed down the west side of Jutland Rd and over the parent-supervised "safe crossing" of Walter St to the school's only officially supervised school crossing across Jutland Rd outside the school gate.
The other walking bus comes down the east side of Jutland Rd over the "safe crossing" of Waitematā St to reach the school.
Jackie Gulik said Auckland Transport's Travelwise co-ordinator told her it was illegal to stop cars anywhere except on legal pedestrian crossings.
"She said because it's not legal we can't support you with cones or traffic signs," she said.
"It was meant to be an interim fix until AT could come and resolve the issues, but 18 months later we are still doing it and will continue to do it because it's working so well."
Auckland Transport spokeswoman Joanna Glasswell said the agency was "working very closely with the school on how to make crossing the road safer for children".
"In the 2018-19 year we have plans for a refuge island," she said. "However we are also investigating other options, which is why we have been undertaking traffic counts in the area recently."