A Wellington primary school expands the role of its school patrol, and adds to safe routes available for students.
Support from families was part of the push that led to a kea crossing coming into operation at Wellington’s Kilbirnie School.
Principal Tony Austin says student members of the school’s road patrol started operating the kea crossing this term. Last year, the school surveyed families and whānau about the possibility.
Tony says more than 50 families responded, the number itself a sign that interest was strong. Several families said a kea crossing would make them feel more comfortable about children walking or scooting.
Kilbirnie School is sited between two roads – Moxham Ave and Hamilton Road, with the kea crossing being run on the latter. A school patrol already operates on a pedestrian crossing on Moxham Ave.
“We want to give a level of assurance to parents, to encourage students to walk to school or scooter to school,” says Tony.
“We wanted to provide a safe route to school, by foot or by scooter, but parents were concerned they had to cross a busy road.”
Wellington City Council provided the engineering works involved in the project, including speed humps.
Police School Community Officer Aaron Dann provided additional training for school patrol members, including explaining the differences between a kea crossing and a full pedestrian crossing.
Tony says parents are rostered on to supervise the kea crossing. Meanwhile, school patrol is a popular role among senior students with no shortage of volunteers.
“Our experience is that students take it very seriously. They see it as an important job which they enjoy doing.”
Kea crossings (or school crossing points) are used at places with low to moderate traffic levels, often where only school children cross. During non-patrol times, the roads revert to being uncontrolled, so pedestrians crossing them have to give way to vehicles.
A kea crossing is made up of:
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