Newsletters – school ethos and organisation

Read examples of how schools include road safety in their ethos and organisation. Also, information about related resources. These examples are extracts from the NZ Transport Agency newsletter to schools.

Getting up to speed on scooters

Practical ideas to support safe scooting

Students take charge of scooter safety

Signs out! Support for school patrol

Attention-grabbing posters

Getting up to speed on scooters

ScooterSafe scooter riding requires good road sense, a dose of self-management and a healthy respect for others on the footpath. Many students are up with the play – here’s what students at Paraparaumu Beach School had to say:

‘We are polite; when we ride up behind people we say excuse me. We are taught manners. We ask people if they can move out of the way, politely. We don’t scoot past people fast.’

The quote comes from interviews conducted by Kapiti Coast District Council travel planner Brent Cherry, who found the school had integrated safe active travel into both its policies and its school culture.

The NZ Transport Agency has released a SlideShare and PowerPoint on scooter safety tips. This simple resource summarises what children need to know about staying safe on footpaths, near driveways and when crossing roads.

Getting up to speed on safe scooting may involve reviewing school policies or working with partners such as your local council or Police school community officer.

(From newsletter 14, 2013) Back to top

Practical ideas to support safe scooting

Scooter safety checkIdeas for your school, based on what other schools experience and the NZTA resources.

1. Get students to help write a scooter policy or procedure. This learning experience supports

safe use in and around school. Musselburgh School in Dunedin involved students in deciding where and when scooters could be used.

2. Issue a scooter licence. Constable Aaron Dann says some schools issue a laminated bike licence when students pass a cycle safety programme run with the Police. Schools could create a similar licence (designed by students) for students who demonstrate safe scooter handling.

3. Talk about safe scooter practices in class. Discussions, writing or video projects are ways your students can share ideas about scooting safely. As a starting point use the NZ Transport Agency slideshow on scooter safety tips.

4. Talk with parents. Make sure family and whānau are involved when setting up expectations about safe ages, safe routes and safe gear for scooting. Schools can access and share the safety tips leaflet Hike it, bike it, scoot it, skate it.

5. Gear check. How many students wear a helmet when they ride their scooter? Who has elbow and knee pads? Students should also wear closed shoes and bright clothing.

6. Storage. Some schools place scooter racks near classrooms to show students that scooting is valued. It keeps the scooters in sight and avoids students rushing towards a single storage place.

Need to know: Everyone is allowed by law to ride scooters and skateboards on footpaths. Students just need to ensure they:

  • ride carefully and are considerate of others on the footpath
  • do not ride at speeds that put other footpath users at risk
  • give way to pedestrians and drivers of mobility scooters.

(From newsletter 14, 2013) Back to top

Students take charge of scooter safety

They are simple, lightweight and fun – and students are increasingly choosing to get and from school on scooters, including down south.

‘The scootering craze has well and truly taken hold in Dunedin,’ says Dunedin City Council transport coordinator Charlotte Flaherty.

Charlotte says students have contributed to solutions to scooter issues at two schools in south Dunedin.

Musselburgh School worked with students to put together a policy on scooter behaviour in the school grounds.

The policy, to be adopted by the board of trustees, recommends no scootering in the school grounds until after 3pm. It also recommends that all scooters be locked away during the day, following some thefts.

Meanwhile, Tahuna Intermediate asked a student group to look into scootering. The children identified issues and worked on possible solutions. They chose to convey their messages in a film and worked with the school technician to develop a concept and carry out filming and editing.

Across Dunedin, schools take part in the annual Walk’n’Wheel week, when students are encouraged to try active travel. Scootering is growing faster than other modes. Baseline snapshots from annual surveys showed that the percentage of students travelling by scooter tripled in 12 months from 3% in 2011 to 9% in 2012, while cycling rose from 2% to 3% in the same period.

‘We expect to see a further increase in scooter numbers this year,’ says Charlotte.

As a result, Dunedin schools are reassessing road safety policies to covers issues such as scooter parking, the wearing of appropriate safety gear and scooter behaviour in school grounds.

(From newsletter 13, 2013) Back to top

Signs out! Support for School Patrol

Enthusiasm for school patrol is one sign that road safety education is well established

What makes a school patrol special is the simple yet powerful idea that children, under adult supervision, can take responsibility for each other’s safety. They’re responsible for each other, for their schoolmates and their parents, and for other road users. Being reliable and punctual is a must.

Mennecca and Benjamin are two students who put their hands up for patrol duty at James Hargest College junior campus in Invercargill. Every Year 7 or 8 class gets to volunteer for a period of the patrol roster.

‘It keeps the other kids safe. My mum takes some time getting here so I thought it was a good thing to do,’ says Mennecca.

Benjamin reckons drivers are more patient as a result of the patrol, because it means students cross in bunches rather than continually streaming across. He’s also more aware of the stopping distances that cars need.

Every morning and afternoon, four students run a split crossing across the two halves of busy Queens Drive.

Teacher Kerry Rodger says traffic from a side road adds to the complexity.

‘The patrol has to be aware of not just what is coming up and down the road but also what is coming around that corner.’

Kerry remembers being a patroller when she was at primary school. In fact, the system has been in place for generations and is recognised in law. Southerners got a head start. The first official patrols began in 1931 at Linwood North School, Christchurch, and Invercargill Middle School.

(From newsletter 5, 2011) Back to top

Attention grabbing posters

posterThe latest NZ Transport Agency posters support safer journeys for children at your school.

The full-colour posters carry short memorable messages about what students should do to be safe while on foot, cycling and near railway tracks.

The posters are available in English and te reo Māori.

You can download additional copies of the posters in PDF format.

(From newsletter 3, 2011) Back to top