Improving traffic safety around local schools is firmly on the agenda of the Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Region, Wendy Lovell.
Ms Lovell used the first sitting day of the new State Parliament to raise the issue and has called for traffic safety audits to be completed at several local primary schools and any subsequent recommendations be made public.
Ms Lovell highlighted the current traffic safety issues at Kialla West, Grahamvale and Shepparton East Primary Schools, all of which are located on major arterial roads.
The request was directed to the new Minister for Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford and Ms Lovell urged the Minister to order audits at both Grahamvale and Shepparton East and release the findings of an audit carried out at Kialla West in September.
Safety concerns about the school pedestrian crossing over the Goulburn Valley Hwy outside Kialla West Primary School were raised after a serious collision between a car and a truck at the crossing in September. A mother and her three daughters, all students at the school, were injured with the youngest airlifted to the Royal Children’s Hospital with serious injuries. VicRoads officers inspected the crossing after the collision yet in the three months since, no recommendations to improve safety have been forthcoming.
Grahamvale Primary School is located on the designated truck route / city bypass and has long experienced traffic safety concerns at the start and end of the school day. Drone footage of a random afternoon at the school highlighted several near-collisions between parents’ vehicles and large trucks travelling past the school.
Because of increased enrolments, Shepparton East Primary School on the Midland Hwy suffers for a lack of parking for parents and a significant amount of students are collected in the afternoon in nearby Cook Drive. This road is devoid of a school crossing or any traffic management system and students’ safety is compromised each day.
In calling for the audits, Ms Lovell said that any findings or recommendations should be made public starting with the immediate release of any recommendations from the safety audit at Kialla West Primary School.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Region, Wendy Lovell:
“Kialla West, Grahamvale and Shepparton East Primary Schools are all located on major arterial roads, making the daily commute to school a safety risk for students, parents and staff. Near collisions are a common occurrence at each school and I urge Minister Pulford to order traffic safety audits as a matter of urgency.
“After the terrible collision that occurred at Kialla West a safety audit was conducted by VicRoads yet after 3 months no recommendations to improve safety have been forthcoming. Safety improvements should be completed during the upcoming school holiday period and the Minister Pulford should release the recommendations and get on with the job.
“This collision proves that lives are at risk and I call on the Minister to act to make our school communities safe.”