“Rain, hail or shine, we’ll be here” – a day in the life of Mandurah traffic wardens

BEING a traffic warden is not an easy gig.

Mandurah traffic wardens Jim Anderson and Dawn Senior.

Mandurah traffic wardens Jim Anderson and Dawn Senior.

Mandurah traffic warden Dawn Senior.

Mandurah traffic warden Dawn Senior.

Mandurah traffic warden Dawn Senior.

Mandurah traffic warden Dawn Senior.

These men and women head out to schools day after day and battle against bad weather and even worse drivers to keep children in the community safe.

Journalist Brianna Johnson met two Mandurah traffic wardens to find out what the job is like.

“WE’RE here to make sure kids get home safe.”

That was the response from a Mandurah traffic warden when asked what their job is about.

Dawn Senior and Jim Anderson head out every day to the crosswalk on Lakes Road near Minilya Parkway to help students and parents cross the road safely.

“We’d rather get hit ourselves than for a kid to get hit,” Ms Senior said.

Mr Anderson has been on Lakes Road for three years and said the area had changed a lot.

“Before it was two separate lanes with the island in the middle it was easy to control safely by myself, but when they widened it I needed a hand,” he said.

“That’s when they hired Dawn for this crosswalk.

“It’s a bad speed zone here, it’s an open road and people don’t want to slow down.

“Before the roadworks they used to set up a speed camera and they’d often catch between 40 and 50 people speeding in an hour.”

Ms Senior said while she felt most people who drove through the area obeyed the road rules, there were some irresponsible drivers as well.

“Some cars come up at speed and don’t want to slow down,” she said.

“That’s what worries me most, I see people on their mobile phones while they’re driving, especially when the traffic is busy and they’re going slowly.

“They’re not as attentive as they could be.

“But for the most part they’re great, I wave at the regulars or to say ‘thanks for doing the speed limit’.”

Ms Senior previously did relief work as a warden in other areas of Mandurah and said the Lakes Road crossing was fairly easy to walk in.

“The crossing on Mandurah Terrace near Orion Road is really busy, it’s really hard to get people to slow down.

“You’ve got to be sensible [about when you step out] – I’ve had some near misses.”

Ms Senior took the chance to become a permanent warden on Lakes Road last year after roadworks split the two lanes to include a wide island in the centre of the road.

The new layout meant an extra warden was required to help children across the road.

“Right after it split into two lanes I’d be helping students across one lane but they’d try and cross the other lane unaccompanied before I could get there,” Mr Anderson said.

For Ms Senior, taking up the role as a traffic warden on Lakes Road meant getting back into a job she loved.

“I did this job about 10 years ago when my own children were younger but then it got to the point where I couldn’t get them to school on time and to this job too,” she said.

“It was really great to get back into it, I really love it and I love being part of Mandurah in this way.”

Mr Anderson, a retired taxi driver, said he took up the role after he retired because he wanted another job.

“It’s satisfying to help out the community, it’s really rewarding,” he said.

“I’ve seen a lot of kids grow up and new ones come in every year.”

Both Ms Senior and Mr Anderson said the children who used the crossing on Lakes Road were sensible and listened to them.

“Most of the kids have been crossing here for a while, either to go to Foundation or Riverside,” Ms Senior said.

“They understand we’re here for their safety.”