At the launch of their schools' Road Safety Action Plan yesterday are (from left) Tom Warman and Ben Green (both 12), of Tahuna Intermediate School, Rileigh Anderson (10), of Musselburgh School, and Mereana Martin (10), of Tainui School. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
The term ''safe as kids on skateboards and scooters'' may
soon be used in the same vein as the term ''safe as houses''.
Pupils from Tahuna Intermediate and Tainui and Musselburgh
Schools have been working together for much of this year to
identify road safety issues near their schools, and have
worked with their community to come up with sensible
solutions to the dangers.
Yesterday, the three schools came together to present the
fruits of their labour, at the launch of their Road Safety
Tahuna Normal Intermediate principal Tony Hunter said the
plan was developed because the huge rise in popularity of
scooters had been problematic for schools and the local
The number of children taking scooters to Tahuna Intermediate
jumped almost overnight, from 10 to about 100, and pupils on
scooters were sometimes creating safety concerns for road
users and pupils, he said.
''Of course, they were just dropping them [scooters] in the
cloak bay. People trying to get their bags were tripping over
It was a similar issue for local dairy owners when pupils
left their scooters lying on the footpath outside the door,
So the school built a special shed to store them in while the
pupils were at school, and guidelines were established to
make sure they were parked in safe places in public areas.
Mr Hunter said the school also had pupils wanting to bring
skateboards to school.
''Traditionally, we haven't allowed that. Our issues were to
do with their safety.
''We had had students skateboarding on the road, not stopping
at intersections and crossing the street on their
''So we asked them to come up with a code of conduct, and
they came up with a skateboard licence.''
It meant pupils had to wear high-visibility vests and follow
road safety rules set down by the school, and there was a
''three strikes, you're out'' rule, which meant anyone who
broke any of the rules three times lost their skateboard
Musselburgh School pupils came up with a policy on scooter
use in their school grounds, while Tainui School pupils
investigated the issues of traffic speeds and parking
congestion outside their school.
Dunedin City Council safe and sustainable travel co-ordinator
Charlotte Flaherty said the work completed by the three
schools was part of a programme of activities the DCC was
conducting with schools.
Activities included the installation of pick-up/drop-off
zones to manage parking issues, and the development of
walking maps to show safe routes to school.
''Each school has different needs and will make use of a
variety of tools from the DCC toolbox of resources,'' she