I think we all agree that the safety of our children is of the upmost importance. Schools have guidelines and policies in place to keep our students safe during their time at school. One area that many schools struggle with , including ours, is traffic around the school during drop off and pick up times.

Woodend is a busy school. Each day nearly 700 students use the crossings and footpaths around our school. This creates congestion and potential frustration for many people trying to drop off or collect their children. We are working with the council to create more parking, but even then, traffic will be heavy on our local streets.

To keep our students safe, we rely on everyone in our school community to be safe and follow the road rules that are in place. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. After being on crossing duty several times in the last week, I have seen some dangerous situations and close calls. All of these incidents could have been avoided by people remembering to do the right thing.

Some actions we can take to help improve safety at these times include: 

Parking in designated spaces only. Please don’t park in the ‘no standing’ zones as this creates congestion and visibility issues.

The ‘Kiss & Go’ area gets very congested both morning and afternoon. This area is only one car width. Double parking in this space has caused some close calls this week. There is more parking further along the oval or students can be dropped off on Young Street. Even a lap around the block to wait for a safe place to stop can be a good idea.

Parking and turning around using the staff carpark driveway makes it hard to see you as you are pulling out on the street again and makes it unsafe for children walking along that section of footpath.

Using the round-about to turn around can be a much safer option than attempting a u-turn in the congestion of people closer to the crossing.

Using the crossing to help your children cross the road is the best way to keep them safe. Rushing across traffic has also created some close calls this week.

Watching your speed is extremely important. The faster a car is moving the harder it is to avoid an accident. The speed limit on both Young Street and Edward Beck Drive is 25 k/h around the school.

We know that busy lives and morning routines can mean that we feel rushed. We are asking everyone to take an extra couple of minutes to keep our children safe as they make their way to and from school.