With local children returning to school in less than 2 weeks, the Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell is concerned that nothing has been done to improve safety at school crossings at several local schools, particularly at the Kialla West Primary School, which was the scene of a major collision last September.
Ms Lovell first raised the issue of traffic safety and the need for a safety audit of the Kialla West crossing in Parliament immediately after the horrific collision in September last year, when a truck collided with a car stopped at the school pedestrian crossing. The force of the impact pushed the car into a second vehicle, which was also stopped at the crossing.
Then in December Ms Lovell used the first sitting day of the new State Parliament to question the delay in the public release of results from a traffic safety audit conducted at the Kialla West Primary School and called for further safety audits to be conducted at Grahamvale and Shepparton East primary schools.
Speaking during the adjournment debate, Ms Lovell raised the issue with the new Minister for Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford, lamenting the fact that months after the serious collision at the Kialla West school crossing and a traffic safety audit carried out, no results from the audit had been released and no safety upgrades had been made at the crossing.
A mother and her three daughters, all students at the school, were injured in the collision. A six-year-old occupant was airlifted to the Royal Children’s Hospital with serious injuries and she continues her road to recovery.
The State Government needs to take this issue more seriously as since the collision no action has been taken to improve safety at the school crossing, completely missing the opportunity to complete upgrades during the school holiday period.
During her December contribution, Ms Lovell also highlighted the serious traffic safety concerns at both Grahamvale and Shepparton East primary schools and called on Ms Pulford to order traffic audits to be completed at each, as well as immediately release the findings of the audit at Kialla West.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Region, Wendy Lovell:
“Our children’s safety should be the State Government’s highest priority and the horrific collision in September last year showed the entire community that safety upgrades are urgently needed on the Goulburn Valley Highway school crossing outside Kialla West Primary School.
“Local families deserve safer conditions when doing school drop off and pickups but the Government has wasted more than four months since the collision and squandered the opportunity to complete upgrades during the school holidays.
“There are also significant traffic safety issues at both Grahamvale and Shepparton East Primary Schools and I call on the State Government to carry out traffic safety audits at both schools and immediately release the results of the Kialla West audit and complete the necessary safety upgrades.”