Clare Primary School have urged drivers to slow down when passing through their crossing after a few near misses on Main North Road resulted in the school having to make multiple formal police reports.
The school’s principal Mark Vincent said every morning drivers passed through their 25 kilometre an hour zone at excess speeds and put the lives of children in danger.
He warned drivers doing the wrong thing would be caught as a result of increased police presence around the school.
“Please make sure that you slow down to 25km/h whenever the school lights are flashing and look for our monitors on duty – if their ‘stop’ signs are out, all traffic must stop,” Mr Vincent said.
“I have spoken with both the police and local council about our issues and the police will be actively monitoring drivers’ behaviour.”
In order to protect the safety of the school children, police would be making their presence known near the crossing over the coming weeks and would be setting up speed cameras to catch wrongdoers.
Clare Police Senior Constable Glenn Lawrie said the increased presence had already had an effect on the behaviour of drivers.
“On Monday last week, a teacher noticed all the passing traffic appeared to be doing the correct speed through the crossing and correctly deduced that police must be nearby,” he said.
“This teacher did not have prior knowledge that police were going to be in attendance, conducting speed detection duties.
“It was the change in driver behaviour that prompted the teacher to look further down the road and see that police were present.”
Beyond the safety aspects of abiding by the adjusted speed limit, excess speed violations could result in hefty fines of more than $400.
Exceeding 25km/h through an active – usually amber lights flashing – school crossing could also result in the loss of three demerit points, with a penalty of loss of licence for extreme cases.
“The school community should rightly feel upset that many vehicle drivers are only choosing to do the right thing when police are present,” Senior Constable Lawrie said.
“From not only a police perspective, but also as a parent who has children attending the school, it is more than disappointing that drivers seem to have more concern about the possibility of getting a fine, than the safety of the children using the crossing.”
Senior Constable Lawrie noted drivers who parked their vehicles illegally were putting children at risk and could also receive a fine.
“Illegally parking in these areas decreases visibility for other drivers as they are turning these corners and increases the danger for small children who may not, as a consequence, be easily seen,” Senior Constable Lawrie said.
A representative at the Clare and Gilbert Valley Council said they would investigate any reports of illegal parking which were reported to them, either by the school or a concerned third party.