Keeping our schools and students safe is more important than ever.
Whether that’s inside the school grounds or a block away, children of all ages should be able to get to school easily and safely without any risks to their well-being.
Here are ten ways to ensure our kids are safe in school zones.
1. Create a smooth pick-up/drop-off zone
The pickup and drop-off zones are the pressure points of every school. Even though many people are (increasingly) making the trip with alternative means of transport, these days cars remain the major way of getting kids to school.
A slow, constant traffic flow that minimises congestion on either side of the pickup-drop off zone is the goal. Ensuring enough space for cars to pull over, parents to say goodbye, and for kids to grab bags from the boot is a simple yet essential feature of these zones. The use of traffic cones, speed humps, and traffic wardens is essential in keeping the show on the road.
2. Ensure sufficient crosswalks
Kids running across the street in between gaps in the traffic is a recipe for disaster. Knowing where kids are likely to arrive from – in all areas of the school zone can inform the placement of crosswalks (zebra crossings) where students and others can cross safely. A combination of crosswalks and safety bollards in these situations is ideal.
3. Hire traffic wardens during peak times
Ensuring student’s safety throughout the school zone is primarily the school’s responsibility. High visibility wardens with stop signs are an old-school yet highly effective solution to a school’s traffic management system.
Hiring trained traffic wardens should be a vital part of a school’s budget and safety plan. They should be positioned at all major traffic crossings where students have the right of way to access the school.
4. Re-paint crosswalks and road signs
Crosswalk paint can wear down and get dirty over time. Whether they’re inside or outside the school grounds, ensuring they are visible to both cars and pedestrians is essential for the safety of everyone using the roads. You may want to get in touch with your local council to arrange a repaint.
5. Install safety bollards to protect pedestrians
Whether it’s at busy crosswalks, drop-off zones, or around critical infrastructure, safety bollards are an important tool in protecting pedestrians in school zones. Using the right bollards in the right places can have a unique effect on a traffic management plan. Bollards can protect against rogue cars, illegal or unauthorised parking, and prevent entry into private thoroughfares – contributing to a smoother and safer traffic environment for students, staff, and parents.
6. Install speed humps throughout the school zone
Speed humps are a vital means of slowing traffic down in key areas to prevent possible injury or worse. The kind of speed humps used around schools can vary depending on their purpose and where they are placed. Speed humps inside the school and around high traffic areas such as pick-up and drop-off zones should be installed with the aim to slow traffic to around 5-10km/hour. Speed bumps around the school campus should encourage compliance with the local speed limits.
7. Ensure accessible wayfinding
Wayfinding is often overlooked in traffic management and planning. The way that people interact with and navigate around the school zone should be carefully managed to avoid potential congestion – especially during peak times. The easier people can find their way around the school – especially on busy days will mean a safer and more relaxed traffic environment.
8. Stock the right safety equipment
Traffic cones, removable bollards, and secure railings are all essential to keeping school zones safe. For special events being held at the school, especially where the larger community is invited in, having the right equipment ready for potential overcrowding, excess parking demand, or even diverting traffic around an incident is important. Having the tools to step in and ensure the safety of the community at any given time is crucial.
9. Keep the community involved
Community safety is a community issue. It’s therefore good to keep an open dialogue with everyone involved. Ask for parents, staff, and even student’s feedback on how they perceive the safety of their school. Listening to their suggestions will only improve the overall situation and boost compliance with traffic laws and regulations.
10. Maximise your safety compliance: use a trusted supplier
Fulfilling obligations and meeting strict Australian standards can be a difficult process, especially if you’re not sure where to get the right safety equipment from. When shopping around, make sure you choose a local Australian-based supplier who is able to refer you to the relevant safety regulations and standards.
Get in touch with your local safety bollards supplier who can run you through the solutions you need and help you implement them across your school zone.