03 Feb, 2014 Last updated: 27 Nov, 2014

Students and their families are taking a lesson about the importance of school crossing and safety – and not just in the classroom.

Students and their families are taking a lesson about the importance of school crossing and safety – and not just in the classroom.

Knox Council and Knox Police’s Highway Patrol are partnering to roll out a pilot six-week campaign – the Safe and Active Schools initiative – across three Knox precincts in 2014, following its launch on Monday 10 February

The Safe and Active Schools initiative aims to raise awareness on road safety skills and sustainable travel, while encouraging parents and students to walk to and from school and help drivers become more aware of pedestrians on the street.

Templeton Primary School in Wantirna has been identified as the first Knox school to host the program, with more than 600 students among the first to attend 45-minute education sessions led by Council’s School Crossing team.  School crossing mascot ‘Lottie’ will take to the school crossing before school on Tuesday 11 February, before joining students in the classroom for the interactive education presentation. Students will be taught how to ‘Stop, Look, Listen and Act’ through the use of school crossing props as well as entertainment from Lottie.

Templeton Primary School – and other schools to feature in the ongoing program – will also have the opportunity to develop Active Travel Plans which will support students and the school community to walk and cycle to school, as part of the Be Active initiative funded by VicHealth and Sport & Recreation Victoria. 

Knox Mayor Darren Pearce said the Safe and Active Schools initiative would benefit everyone in Knox – from students crossing the roads, parents seeking to ensure their children’s safety and school crossing supervisors ushering residents across the road. 
“There are a number of incentives to walk children to school—it’s an active mode of transport, it’s the most health-conscious way to get kids to school and it’s cost-effective, but it also provides a good opportunity for quality time,” Cr Pearce said.

“Council hopes that by taking the school crossing safety message from the crossing and into the classroom, Knox students will be more aware of safety risks and accessing the area safely – and might even reciprocate that message to their family members at home.
“Council’s school crossing supervisors perform a wonderful service in our community and we share their passion for safety for students to access their education as safely as possible.”

Knox Highway Patrol Acting Senior Sergeant David Young said motorists who drove through school zones needed to be aware of their surroundings and comply with school speed zones which were designed to increase protection for school children.

"The work of the school crossing supervisors is of great value to the community and parents and students alike need to remain vigilant when dropping off and collecting children from school areas," Acting Snr Sgt Young said.

Parents and students will be well informed during the campaign, with regular updates on the Safe and Active Schools program featured in the school newsletter, both printed and online. Parking maps will also be distributed to parents in school zones as a guide of where not to park near a school crossing, while Knox Highway Patrol and Council Law Enforcement officers will continue to conduct their regular safety checks. Council’s School Crossing team will also present its initiative at a school council meeting on 24 February.