Call for drivers to show some crossing courtesy

Taieri College school patrol member Zac Henry (12), from Mosgiel, waits while his fellow pupils ...
Taieri College school patrol member Zac Henry (12), from Mosgiel, waits while his fellow pupils cross Factory Rd. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Taieri College staff are calling for more courtesy from drivers around a school crossing on one of Mosgiel's busiest roads.

Taieri College deputy principal Mike Newell said the crossing in Factory Rd, between Reid Ave and Dryden St, was in an extremely busy area, with Reid Ave being an access road to Peter Johnstone Park.

Drivers also used Factory Rd to get to Silverstream School nearby, and cars exited the Taieri College driveway.

''So sometimes you get cars coming at you from four different ways,'' he said.

He said the problem was getting traffic to slow and stop so children could use the crossing.

School crossings, also known as kea crossings, are unlike pedestrian (zebra) crossings because they generally only operate before and after school.

When school crossings are operating, a fluorescent orange ''Children'' sign will be displayed, along with a school patrol ''Stop'' sign, which swings out into the road.

The Road Code says when a school patrol stop sign is displayed, vehicles coming from both directions must stop until all signs have been pulled in.

But if there is a raised traffic island in the middle of the crossing - like on Factory Rd - drivers need only stop and give way to pedestrians on their side of the road.

Mr Newell said the school crossing operators used an ''independent system'' - when you can see your side is clear you can put the sign out.

The problem was, cars on the opposite side were not slowing and stopping, to allow those operators to put their sign out.

While drivers did not legally have to stop if there were no pedestrians on their side of the traffic island, Mr Newell said some common courtesy would make the area much safer.

He said there was a near miss last year when ''a little old lady managed to drive between the stop sign out and the traffic island'' while children were using the crossing.

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