Fear for ‘children’s safety’


Liam McNally

Sydenham MP Natalie Hutchins made a speech in parliament on February 8 calling on Melton council to improve safety infrastructure around a Caroline Springs school precinct.

Ms Hutchins said the school day “begins and ends with a fear for children’s safety” among students, parents and teachers who attend the education precinct along Becca Way and Lancefield Drive “due to a lack of traffic management and poor planning at the drop-off and pick-up zones in this area”.

The area is home to multiple schools including primary, secondary, a kindergarten and maternal and child health centre.

“Melton council have made a few small improvements; however, I have heard from many parents and staff at the local schools that the zones are ineffective,” she said.

Caron Sanni has a son at Springside Primary School and said she’s concerned about traffic safety in the area.

“My seven-year-old son confidently rides his bike to school, however, I’m always fearful something will happen to him because of the dangerous traffic flow issues,” she said.

“So far, the council hasn’t been doing enough to take the safety of our children seriously.”

Ms Hutchins said she has visited the site both during drop off in the morning and in the afternoon for pick up.

“I am extremely concerned with the number of near misses and poor traffic flow,“ she said.

“I have written to council on multiple occasions, outlining the school community’s concerns and requests for larger and clearer signage and urgent upgrades to improve safety.

“Additionally, I believe that this area would benefit from dedicated zones along Becca Way for drop off and pick up, coloured pavement treatment and fencing or barriers at the Oakview Parade intersection that discourages unsupervised crossing.“

Melton council Engineering and Asset Services acting manager Matthew Hutchinson said council officers met with schools and community representatives late last year to discuss parking and traffic issues in the education precinct.

“A number of improvements have been identified and will be considered as part of council’s budget process,” he said.

“Officers will keep the schools and community representatives informed on progress.”

Meanwhile, Ms Hutchins said she would continue to “call on Melton council to deliver better safety infrastructure in the area”.

“The school community really does need urgent and proactive action. We must work together to find a solution before a serious, fatal incident occurs.”