“Clearly, Council is very concerned about the results,” said Council President, Viv Pearce. “They confirm what we have suspected for some time – that school roads and car parks need a lot of work and that student safety is in jeopardy.”
Nearly two-thirds of parents surveyed said their school car parks and set-down areas are unsafe to some degree. Across the ACT a fifth of parents believe the roads around their school are ‘very unsafe’, but at some schools this figure is as high as 50%.
Alarmingly, most parents (70%) have themselves witnessed an accident or near miss around their school, with half of those surveyed having done so more than once.
“There is a lot of goodwill from parents and school staff to address these problems”, said Ms Pearce, “but the ACT Government needs to allocate the resources and provide a tool-kit of solutions which schools can employ for their particular traffic issues.”
“We are calling on the ACT Government to view school road safety as an issue requiring a whole of government response – a co-ordinated approach from ETD (Education and Training), TAMS (Territory and Municipal Services) and Health,” Ms Pearce said
“We would like to see a Ministerial Taskforce appointed to address the difficulties and dangers our survey has highlighted. Specific funding also needs to be allocated to further research, improving roads and walk to school programs.”
“Unfortunately, we see the problems being repeated in new schools. We were very disappointed to see poorly planned parking and drop-off area in the draft plans for the new Coombes Primary School. We have pointed out these flaws, but they have not yet been re-designed,” she said.
Released Wednesday November 19.