RAA is encouraging students and parents to take to the footpath and walk to school if possible, but urging all South Aussies to be conscious of our most vulnerable road users.
Our plea comes ahead of National Walk Safely to School Day on Friday 20 May, which encourages primary school aged children across Australia to walk with their parents or caregiver to school.
RAA Senior Manager of Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said choosing to walk instead of drive had many benefits.
“Active transport like walking is better for the environment, for health outcomes and takes pressure off the road network,” Mr Mountain said.
“But the safety of pedestrians, especially children and young people around our roads, is paramount.”
“We encourage parents to teach their children from an early age to stop, look, listen, think, and hold hands whenever crossing the road.”
This year, the Walk Safely to School Day also happens to fall in National Road Safety Week, during which RAA has been raising awareness of our most vulnerable road users. Vulnerable road users include cyclists, pedestrians, young drivers and children under 15.
Heart symbols were placed in Elder Park to represent vulnerable lives lost on South Australian roads in the past decade, in a moving visual reminder of the consequences of road trauma.
Charles said drivers should always be alert and ready to stop around schools, and that Friday would serve as a timely reminder.
“It’s important to remember that the lower speed limits of 25 km/h apply in school zones whenever children are present, and that can be outside of school hours and at weekend sporting activities.
“When the amber lights at crossings are flashing or the orange flags are out it means the crossing are in operation so slow down and be prepared to stop.
“Drivers should be aware that pedestrian crossings with traffic signals on roads near schools will be used by even more children and pedestrians than normal today.”
For more about RAA’s road safety initiatives, visit raa.com.au/roadsafety.