Brake, the road safety charity is reminding drivers to slow down and look out for kids as schools and kindergartens return for the last term of the year. As school starts again, roads around schools and childcare centres will be busy with parents and children.
Brake is calling on drivers to slow down to 30km/h outside schools to help protect young lives. At speeds of under 30km/h drivers have a much better chance of being able to stop in time if a child runs out than at higher speeds.
The charity is also reminding drivers about the 20km/h speed limit in both directions if passing a school bus that has stopped.
Brake's NZ director Caroline Perry says: "The death of a child on the road is devastating and we're reminding drivers that they have a responsibility to do everything they can to protect other road users when they're at the wheel. This means slowing down around schools and communities to help keep kids safe. Children can be unpredictable so drivers need to give the road their full attention. Many schools have lower speed limits around them but we urge drivers to commit to slowing down even further, to 30km/h, so they are much more likely to stop in time if a child runs out, and if they do hit, the child is far more likely to survive."
Parents can also help protect their children by teaching road safety messages such as: holding hands with young children; safety when crossing the road and using stop, look and listen; crossing only at designated crossing points, or if there aren't any, crossing at safe places, not on bends or between parked cars; taking headphones off and not using a phone when crossing.