Ire at road danger zone
PEDESTRIAN advocate Harold Scruby has slammed Tasmania's road safety after revelations of a dangerous school bus pick-up zone.
Yesterday the Mercury reported the dangers of the Huon Highway where it crosses Summerleas Rd in Kingston. The intersection was classed a black spot 15 years ago.
Mr Scruby, Pedestrian Council of Australia's chief executive, said no child should be using that section of road unaccompanied.
"It looks like an incredibly dangerous place to be getting on and off a school bus," he said.
In April, Mr Scruby called for an assessment of every school zone or crossing after a string of accidents involving children. The State Government is planning to upgrade the Summerleas Rd site.
Kingborough councillor Roger McGinniss has asked for years for the dangers to be addressed.
Bicycle Tasmania facilities development officer Emma Pharo called on Infrastructure Minister David O'Byrne to take a broader look at reducing accidents near schools, crossings and bus stops.
"Alternative routes between homes and schools should be a high priority for road safety spending and should target off-road paths that kids and parents can use to bike and walk to school," she said.
Ms Pharo said Ride2School research showed many kids wanted to ride or walk to school, but could not because of a lack of infrastructure to separate them from fast-moving vehicles.
Meanwhile, today is National Walk Safely to School Day, an initiative of the Pedestrian Council of Australia.
About 600 schools, including 30 in Tasmania, are registered, and others take part informally.
"The event encourages parents, carers and their children to build regular habits for walking to and from school into their daily routine," Mr Scruby said.
"It also encourages parents to drive less and walk more, aiming to decrease dangerous vehicle congestion around schools and reduce carbon emissions from idling cars."
The council recommends that children up to the age of eight should hold an adult's hand on the footpath, in the carpark or when crossing the road. It also says children up to 10 should be actively supervised around traffic and hold an adult's hand when crossing.