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Child safety is everyone's business

The Mayor of the City of Canterbury Bankstown has issued a warning to motorists in the lead-up to the start of the new school year. Yes  

The Mayor of the City of Canterbury Bankstown has issued a warning to motorists in the lead-up to the start of the new school year.

Khal Asfour said the safety of children is most important, particularly in and around school zones.

"It is pretty simple really, there are rules in place to protect our children, so follow them," Mayor Asfour said.

The Mayor issued the warning after reviewing last year’s data.

"Our officers issued more than 1,500 fines in 2017 for school zone offences, the majority for disobeying no stopping signs; stopping in bus stops; and ignoring no parking signs," Mayor Asfour revealed.

"Unfortunately, it would appear most offenders were actually the parents of the very children our laws have been introduced to protect. It’s just madness and makes no sense."

More than $475,000 was collected by Council in 2017 for school zone offences and is now being invested in road safety education programs, including:

  • The funding of two Road Safety Officers;
  • The Community and Road Education Scheme (CARES), where students aged 10-12 attend a road education program; 
  •  Producing and distributing educational material on school zone safety to local primary schools (in multiple languages); and 
  •  Council’s Road Safety Officers attending Kindergarten orientation days and P&C meetings to talk about road safety and answer questions.

"We invest significantly in educating motorists on the dos and don’ts and we’re determined the message gets through. But, if it doesn’t, be prepared to suffer the consequences. We will fine you and we make no apologies for that," Mayor Asfour said.

Local school principal, Amanda Kowalczyk, strongly supports the Mayor’s stance.

"Accidents, near misses, double parking, illegal U-turns, drivers on the phone and even stopping in bus zones – you name it, I’ve seen it," said the Wattawa Heights Public School Principal.

"If we can get everyone to abide by school zone road rules, I know we can make our City a much safer place for students. We all need to work together for the safety and care of our kids." …2

In coming weeks, Council officers will be working closely with Police, patrolling local schools to ensure drivers are obeying the road rules.

"More than 58,000 children go to school across our City every day and we need to make sure they are dropped off and picked up safely." Mayor Asfour said.

"Our children are the future and there’s just no room for error here. It’s easy to avoid a fine – just do the right thing by our kids."

 8/02/2018 12:13 PM