Traffic-light safety taught

Remarkables Primary School children (from left) Fletcher Marshall, Nafe Manulea, Max Coulton and...
Remarkables Primary School children (from left) Fletcher Marshall, Nafe Manulea, Max Coulton and Alicia Webster (all 8) are shown by Senior Constable Beth Fookes how long it takes a vehicle travelling at 70kmh to stop. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Not all drivers stop when they should at red lights, Remarkables Primary School pupils have been warned by Senior Constable Beth Fookes, of Queenstown. This is the case particularly at the traffic lights installed about the time the school was built.

Snr Const Fookes said patrol cars were often stationed near the lights and routinely caught people running red lights.

Many people, including pupils, lived on the other side of the state highway and had to cross to get to the school and to the public reserve on the lakefront.

At the school last week, a long line of cones was set up and pupils were asked to stand next to the cone that they thought represented the distance in which a car travelling at 70kmh would be able to stop. The long distance surprised many pupils but they quickly learnt to look in all directions and stand back if they saw an oncoming car, even if the green man appeared on the traffic lights.

Pupils were also told frankly that ''we have people that speed, we have people that are drunk, we have people from different countries that don't even know what side of the road they are meant to be driving on''.

Older children at the school were also being taken through safe crossing procedure.

''Normally, we don't teach up to the year 8 age group, but we have realised in the state highway situation that we could maybe use the approach of the children being good role models,'' Snr Const Fookes said.

She said drivers needed to respect the crossings and appreciate the difficulty young people had in determining when they could cross safely.

''We take it for granted as adults.''


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