SHINING A LIGHT ON SAFER SCHOOL CROSSINGS

New technology trialled by school crossing supervisors in Wodonga has resulted in 60 per cent fewer near miss incidents at a high-traffic location.

Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, said the Andrews Labor Government provided Wodonga Council with a $50,000 Community Innovation Grant for their Don’t Run Me Over campaign, prompted by a high number of near miss incidents at its school crossings.

The trial site at Wodonga Primary School is one of the region’s busiest, with dual crossings on each side of the divided Beechworth-Wodonga Road.

Pedestrian visibility was increased with additional flashing lighting installed on the crossings at Wodonga Primary School, used by about 500 students daily.

Additional flashing lights were installed on the red and white candy poles on either side of the crossings, operated by a remote device worn on a lanyard by the crossing supervisors.

“Keeping our community safe at school crossings is a top priority for the Andrews Labor Government, which is why we’re funding initiatives like this to help raise awareness about safe speeds,” Ms Symes said.

“Driver distraction and inattention at school crossings pose a serious risk to pedestrians.

“Localised community action helps reduce the number of lives lost and serious injuries on Victoria’s roads – that’s why we’re investing in grants at a grassroots level to spread this important message.”

A media campaign was also undertaken to further remind road users to travel at safer speeds near school crossings.

The increased safety measures helped raise awareness of this busy school crossing, with an estimated decrease in near miss incidents from 43 to 17 during the trial.

Quotes attributable to Wodonga Council Manager Environment and Community Protection, Mark Verbaken:

“The Don’t Run Me Over campaign was aimed at getting people to stop for the appropriate time at each school crossing.”

“This simple intervention had a fantastic success rate with a significant drop in near misses and has meant a greater sense of safety for the crossing supervisor and the children using the crossing.”

The 2017/18 Community Roads Safety Grants saw $1.6 million go towards 249 projects across 46 groups in Victoria including local councils, schools and not-for-profit organisations.