Bass Coast,

Near misses at crossings call for safety reminders

The first term of the school year has now commenced and Bass Coast Shire Council is focussing on safety around schools.

All motorists are reminded to be aware of reduced speed limits around schools and encourage both motorists and pedestrians to ‘Stop, Look, Listen and Think’ when using or driving around school zones.

In only the first week back, there were two incidents resulting in near misses recorded at school crossings.

The first incident involved a vehicle reported driving through the crossing whilst the supervisor was stationary in the middle of the road in Thompson Avenue, Cowes.

Another vehicle was then also reported to have stopped at the crossing, but then accelerated and driven straight through the crossing whilst the supervisor was still in the middle of the road at the Phillip Island Tourist Road crossing in Newhaven.

A number of parking violations have also been reported around crossings as this can restrict the crossing supervisors’ vision of traffic and put pedestrians at risk.

Due to this, Council’s Community Safety Rangers undertake regular patrols and issue penalties.

Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Jordan Crugnale, said children, parents and supervisors lives are being put at risk due to distracted drivers and urged all motorists to be more aware.

“Making sure our children, their carers can get to and from school safely, and our school crossing supervisors have a safe environment to work in, is our absolute priority,” Cr Crugnale said.

“Please take care when driving around school zones, slow right down and keep scanning the road and crossings as you approach them.

“Children walk and ride to school from all around our towns and are crossing roads that have no formal supervision. We need to be aware they are not great judges of speed and that the peripheral vision of children under the age of 10 is not fully developed, so whilst you can see them, it doesn’t always mean they can see you coming.”

Key points for motorists to remember:

  • When approaching school crossings, motorists must drive at a speed at which the driver can, if necessary, stop safely before the crossing.
  • They must also stop at the crossing if a hand-held sign is displayed at the crossing, or a pedestrian is on or entering the crossing.
  • If a driver stops at a children’s crossing for a hand-held stop sign, the driver must not proceed until the holder of the sign no longer displays the sign towards the driver or otherwise indicates that the driver must proceed.
  • If a driver stops at a children’s crossing for a pedestrian, the driver must not proceed until there is no pedestrian on or entering the crossing.