Staying safe on the roads

Now that school’s back in action, there’s a lot more to be aware of on the roads. First there are the little people getting to and from school, then there are more of us in our cars doing drop-offs and pick-ups. Here are a few simple tips to help keep the school commute safe for everyone.

Slip on the safety gear

When it comes to hi-vis, there’s no such thing as ‘too much’. If you have young ones walking to school, it’s worth investing in a high-vis vest to keep them visible at all times. If they’re scooting or biking, be sure to tick off helmets, knees pads, wrist pads and elbow pads. They’re great for avoiding bumps and bruises if they fall over too.

Let your feet do the walking

Walking School Buses are a great way to teach kids how to safely negotiate the road, get to know friends and neighbours, and arrive at school refreshed and ready to enjoy the school day. Each ‘bus’ walks along a set route with at least one adult ‘driver’ picking up children at designated ‘bus stops’ and walking them to and from school. We support Walking School Buses throughout Auckland and Tauranga, and it’s easy to set one up at your local school with a little help from the school community. If you’re based in Auckland, click here to find out how, or click here if you live elsewhere in New Zealand.

Make a plan

If a Walking School Bus isn’t an option, you can help your kids get to school safely by mapping out a route for them to take and walking with them until they know it off by heart. You’ll want to think about which roads are busiest, where the roads go and where the safest crossings are. It’s extra cool if you can map out a path that their friends will also take, because then they’ll have buddies to travel with.

Know the basics

And finally, here are some basic pointers for everyone to remember when they’re out and about – on foot or on four wheels.

For the kids

Heads up - look up from both daydreams and devices when crossing the road.
Side to side - be on the lookout, both ways at all times. Driveways and corners especially.
Cross at the lines - crossing is only safe at pedestrian crossings or controlled crossings.

For the drivers

Pause for a moment at intersections and crossings in areas near schools to check for fast-moving school goers.
Slow down in school zones - you know the drill, 40km/h always.
Watch out for school buses, and stick to 20km/h when you’re passing by.