Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said national Walk Safely to School Day on Friday 15 May was an occasion to show support for a healthy, sustainable form of transport.
“This is a great opportunity for parents to spend some value time with their children while teaching them one of the most important messages in life – road safety,” Mr Pitt said.
“At the same time, the day might just get more parents thinking twice before jumping into their cars.
“People walking their children to school don’t contribute to traffic congestion or vehicle emissions – and they do their own health a favour. Everyone should get behind initiatives such as this.”
Mr Pitt said the Queensland Government worked closely with school communities and local councils to identify and implement road safety measures to protect students at all schools.
These measures include ongoing funding to provide safe set down areas for buses at schools and funding for other road safety infrastructure around schools, assistance through School Road Safety Committees that identify issues such as the need for 40kmh zones and safe set down areas at each school and supervised school crossings and supervisors.
Mr Pitt said it was vital that parents and carers provide road safety advice to their children from an early age, especially about how to cross roads safely.
“The idea of this day’s activity is to encourage parents and carers to walk to school with children to demonstrate safe pedestrian behaviour,” he said.
“If school is too far away from home to walk, you can combine the walk with public transport. Or try leaving the car at least one kilometre from your destination and walk the rest of the way.
“This national day is also an opportunity to reinforce the notion of ‘always holding hands’.
“Parents and carers should always hold hands with children when they are near traffic, or the road. As a general rule, children up to the age of 10 lack the skills, knowledge, and judgement to be able to keep themselves safe in traffic situations and should always be accompanied by an adult.
Mr Pitt said that it is important that all motorists take extra care on Friday because there may be more children walking around schools. He asked that drivers be patient at crossings where parents may be teaching their children about road safety and how to safely cross the road.
For more information on walking and other smart travel options, visit www.transport.qld.gov.au