by Rachael van Rij

Traffic safety

We have written about traffic safety concerns quite frequently. However, while things are generally going pretty smoothly, traffic safety remains an issue at times – especially on wet days; and there seem to be more near misses now than there have ever been.

Just recently a small collision took place in the carpark area between two cars and we have had several near misses with students trying to cross Amesbury Drive into the pathway of cars (rather than using the pedestrian crossing). Let’s not wait until a student is hurt before we ALL commit to doing something serious about it.

It has made us pretty sad to see that there are people in our school community who only do the right thing (safe thing) when senior leaders of the school are watching or walking towards their car to talk to them. I understand that there are some people who do not see the value of some of the traffic rules that we have put in place, but we have the big picture in mind and we only make rules when we think they will keep people safe. We certainly don’t make traffic rules for the sake of it.

There is actually one really simple solution to the traffic issues - we could simply close off the car park at 2pm each day and people will have to find somewhere to park on the roadside and walk to school to pick up their children anyway. This is what happens in many schools. It would certainly ease the congestion around the driveway and children would spend more time walking.

However, though this is one simple choice we could make, it is not our preferred choice and, for many of you, I am sure it won’t be your preferred choice either.

We would prefer the following approach:

  • As many parents as possible walk their children to and from school rather than drive the short distances that many drive – especially those who live close. Children CAN walk up steep hills (it is good for them) and they CAN walk in the rain.
  • Parents of older children come later to pick up their children and leave the carpark freer for parents of Te Rito Hub students. Students are supervised until 3.15pm and later on wet days.
  • Parents are patient as they slowly and patiently make their way around the carpark loop – recognising that it will take time especially on rainy days and you will have to wait at times.
  • Everyone follows all the rules and procedures set out by senior leaders of the school and the Board of Trustees.
  • Parents show patience and tolerance with other parents who sometimes may lack driving confidence; putting the safety of all before their own needs. 
  • Only cross Amesbury Drive at the pedestrian crossing even though it might mean walking a little bit further.

We have had the Wellington City Council Traffic Team observe the traffic flow and we have also had a traffic engineer observe and give us recommendations. They have provided us with some recommendations, such as widening the driveway entrance. We are working through these now. However, there is no quick fix, and the very best option is for all parents to commit to the very best behaviour as they pick up their children.