Mosman Council launches multi-year project to improve road safety around local schools

15 February 2019

Mosman Council has launched an innovative new project to improve pedestrian safety around local schools.

Developed in conjunction with NSW police, it will target every school in the area over a three-year period, and involve Council rangers and police working together in a comprehensive education campaign followed by intensive periods of enforcement for both speeding and parking offences.

The project is in response to frequent unsafe driver behaviour around schools including near misses on pedestrian crossings, and concerning pedestrian accident statistics. Pedestrians account for more than 11 per cent of casualties caused by car accidents in the Mosman area, and 48% of those, almost half, involve serious injury. Of those, children and young adults under the age of 20 are one of the most highly represented groups.

Objectives of the project are to improve road safety around Mosman’s schools, especially for younger children, and increase both parents’ and children’s knowledge of safe driving and pedestrian practices, as well as stricter enforcement of the road safety rules.

An evolution to previous road safety campaigns, two key aspects that make the project unique are how comprehensive it is and that each roll-out is specific to each school.

To launch the campaign at each location, rangers and police will both be present during peak drop-off and pick-up times for a number of days, to conduct face-to-face education with parents, drivers and children on road safety. They will distribute clear and easy to follow information sheets on road signs, road rules, penalties and safety tips for school zones, along with a guide to pedestrian crossings around schools.

The same information will be provided in leaflets for schools to distribute and use as a resource for road safety education classes. To reinforce the message brightly coloured stencils with ‘Stop, look, listen, think’ will be installed on the footpath bordering pedestrian crossings or traffic lights.

According to Mosman Mayor Carolyn Corrigan, Council staff working closely with each school and taking a customised approach will mean better results.

“Keeping children safe around schools requires a holistic approach to educate students, parents and drivers, and in a way that is suited to the particular environment and school community,” the Mayor said.

“This approach takes into account that there are unique aspects to the challenges each school faces when it comes to road safety based on the location and surrounding traffic environment. There may be a particular part of road or driver practice presenting a risk, and this can be addressed specifically.”

The first school for the three-year project is Middle Harbour Public School, and the campaign launched there on Wednesday, 13 February.

According to relieving principal Carole Jaye the collaborative approach to road safety education is a good strategy: “The safety of our students is paramount, and education is the key! Together with Mosman Council we are collaborating to remind parents of the road safety rules, and especially around our school to ensure the safety of all pedestrians.

“The school strongly supports this road safety education project and thanks Mosman Council for its initiative in creating this awareness raising program and resources.”

The project will be rolled out at Blessed Sacrament and Queenwood Junior School later this year, and at remaining schools in the Mosman area over the following two years.