By Danielle Kutchel
School is back, and drivers are being asked to prioritise student safety as school communities return to the roads.
To make the job easier, new electronic signs have been installed near Clyde Primary School to alert drivers to changed speed limits in school zones.
It’s one of 55 schools across the state that is receiving the new signs as part of the Victorian and Australian Governments’ $19.5 million Pedestrian and Safer Schools Program.
Now, drivers on Clyde-Five Ways Road will be alerted by a flashing sign, indicating that they must slow to 60 km/h when passing the school during school times.
Acting principal Michelle Mackenlay said the signs would increase safety for students and their families.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in traffic over the past few years with housing estates going in,” she said.
“The signs are something we’ve been trying to get for the school for a while now because of the increasing traffic, particularly trucks. Our school council has been very active in writing letters.
“This will help make parents aware of the school zone.”
But the work isn’t over yet, and Ms Mackenlay said the school would continue to advocate for the speed to be dropped to 40km/h during school times.
“We recognise 60km/h is not safe enough in our school zone,” she said.
The school is set to expand soon to a neighbouring parcel of land which will include frontage on Clyde-Five Ways Road, meaning the speed signs have arrived at a critical time.
Bass MP Jordan Crugnale said it was a win for kids and families, who would now be safer as they walked over the busy main road to school.
“First there were traffic lights, then we got proper big school zone signage and now electronic speed signs to let motorists know to slow down to 60 km/hr during school times,” she said.
“The school has over 700 students, the massive expansion and upgrade to the tune of over $23m starts soon, it’s a growing community and they know what they need to make their area a great place to live
“We continue on with more work to do to get the speed limit dropped to 40 km/h on this busy road and its full duplication is on my list as well.
“Safety is important and we want our kids to walk and ride to school too.”
Parents are urged to set a good example for children by safely entering and exiting parked cars, only using designated pedestrian crossings and obeying the direction of crossing supervisors.
Students aged 12 years and over must wear a face mask when travelling on trains, trams and regular bus services to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
To help keep the community safe on the public transport network, high touch surfaces are being cleaned regularly and trains, trams and buses deep cleaned every night.