MANDURAH MLA David Templeman gives his opinion about safety in school areas.
GETTING to and from school safely is everyone’s business, even if you don’t have children going to school.
There is a need to have a range of measures in place to ensure our kids get to school and home again each day safely.
If we want to encourage more kids to walk and ride to school with their parents then a network of safe footpaths/cycle ways is crucial.
This should be a priority for the local Council, particularly when new schools are being planned.
New schools like Meadow Springs Primary School and Lakelands Primary School need to have all connecting footpath networks established before the schools open for business which would encourage walking and cycling to school from the beginning.
The establishment of safe crossing guard points is very important and I believe that the coordination of crossing wardens should be a local government responsibility (it currently is a role of the police department).
School crossing wardens are wonderful people who are the eyes and ears of the local neighbourhood and I believe they deserve greater recognition for the role they play.
Parking around schools is always a concern.
It is just poor planning that a school like Meadow Springs Primary (with now 1000 students) was built with only 36 parent parking bays.
No wonder parents there are very frustrated at drop off and pick up times.
I strongly support the Government’s commitment to rolling out flashing 40km/h signs from schools.
But it must be prioritised so those schools with greater safety concerns are done first.
I have already written to the Minister for Transport and urged that the following schools are given priority in Mandurah:
Meadow Springs Primary School (Oakmont Ave), Lakelands Primary School/Baptist College (Catalina Drive), Foundation Christian College /Riverside Primary School (Lakes Road and Teranca Road), Mandurah Primary School and Dudley Park Primary School.
The fact is that like never before there is more traffic on our roads so the need to be vigilant in the way we plan and educate kids, parents and the wider community about safety around schools and in our neighbourhoods.