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Rotorua District Council (RDC) and Rotorua Police are encouraging more local schools to get onboard a road safety campaign recommencing next week for Term Two, targeting dangerous driving and parking outside schools.
Otonga, Kawaha Point, and Lynmore primary schools teamed up last year with council parking enforcement officers and local police to improve children’s safety, especially during busy drop-off and pick-up periods.
RDC road safety coordinator Jodie Lawson says the campaign involves school duty teachers recording registration plates of cars demonstrating unsafe practices such as parking on yellow lines, obstructing the views of road patrollers or parking over driveways.
She says they fill in forms which are sent to the council’s parking enforcement section and warning letters are issued to the vehicles’ registered owners. A database is maintained to help identify repeat offenders and further action will be taken against those drivers.
“Last year three schools took up the initiative resulting in three folders packed with reports of unsafe parking and driving practices outside these schools. Complaints mainly consisted of parking on footpaths, clearways and yellow lines, double parking on loading zones, and parking too close to crossings.”
Ms Lawson says schools are provided with hi viz vests, project folders and umbrellas so teachers on patrol are easily identifiable and serve as a visual reminder that unsafe driving practices will be seen, recorded, and reported.
“We often receive complaints from schools about unsafe drivers, so we’re empowering the schools to take action.
“Parents need to get the message, and schools need a champion to step up and take on the role.
“It’s our hope that by working together we can reduce some of the traffic chaos around schools and improve daily safety for students.”