Safest crossings maps issued

SH1 near Hampden. Photo by ODT.
SH1 near Hampden. Photo by ODT.
School children in Hampden are being issued with maps showing the safest way to cross the busy State Highway 1 running through the centre of the township.

Pupils from Hampden School were last week issued with The Hampden School Safe Walking and Cycling Guide, which indicated suggested routes to the beach and recommended crossing points on the state highway, based on visibility in both directions.

Waitaki District Council road safety co-ordinator Elton Crane said the project, which also issued pupils with a high-visibility backpack cover, came after Hampden School voiced concerns about the 60kmh State Highway just 200m from the school.

Mr Crane said copies of the maps, which had been put together by the Waitaki District Council and Sport Waitaki, were sent home with each pupil. Laminated copies had been placed around Hampden.

Mr Crane said it was hoped the whole town would take note.

''If the whole community is aware of this guide then the safety of the local children will be enhanced."

Given that little cost was associated with the campaign, it could be used by other schools, if it was needed, he said.

''It's done in other parts of New Zealand, but if other schools think it would be a great idea for their school than they should get in contact with us. It's good for the rural schools, in particular."

Sport Waitaki co-ordinator Kate Cartwright said the safety programme, which was supported by police, was a good way to educate children in rural locations about ''real issues''.

andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz