Labor has launched a new push to make it is safe for children to walk to school, and is calling on students, parents, teachers, and the community to help them do it.
For a limited time Labor is calling on people to visit nswschoolsafety.com and report safety issues they see on the way to school.
NSW Labor Leader, Jodi McKay said: “We all remember walking to school when we were growing up. But these days so many houses are being built and so many more cars are on the road. Unfortunately government just hasn’t always kept up with the infrastructure needed to make it safe for our children to walk to school too.”
“Instead road safety issues just bounce around back and forth between council and the State government.”
Last year, the Berejiklian Government made a huge election promise to put 300 extra “lollipop” supervisors on the street to help kids get to school safely. A year later, the Government has gone silent on the progress of the commitment.
Ms McKay said the current campaign would give Labor a way to help improve safety, encourage more families to walk and ride and pressure the State Government and local councils to make the changes needed, through the community safety reports it is urging people to submit.
Labor Shadow Minister for Active Transport, Jo Haylen said: “Parents know the health benefits of their kids walking or riding to school and they know it helps beat congestion on our roads, too, but many people don’t feel like it’s safe enough to walk.
“It won’t come as a surprise that of the million or so school students that will be travelling to and from school today, only 30% will get there by walking or riding, compared to 75% forty years ago.”
“This has had a big impact on traffic. We all know how bad our roads can get during the school holidays. But experts say in some places reducing car trips by 5% could improve traffic speeds by as much as 50%.”
“Walking or riding to school is never going to be possible for everyone, but if we can fix connections here and there, whether that’s to the front gate or to a bus stop, we can get more cars off the road and help deliver big health benefits for our children.”
Labor Shadow Minister for Education, Prue Car said: “Walking to school can teach our children important lessons about road safety, and the community they live in.”
“But research also shows a link between active students, and improved concentration and better grades. A short walk to school won’t fix everything, but it can be the first step towards a big difference.”
Ms McKay, Ms Car and Ms Haylen met at Marrickville Public School today to launch the campaign.
The school safety website will accept reports until 13 March 2020.