Operation to protect ‘most vulnerable road users’

Senior Constable Daniel Timothee. (Damjan Janevski) 384167_02

Liam McNally

With kids returning to school at the end of the month, so will pick-up and drop-off traffic, and police will be on alert for unsafe road behaviour near schools.

Police will be focusing on additional attention to school precincts in Melton and Brimbank from the day students return to school on January 29, to February 2 as part of Operation Education.

Police will be enforcing the school zone speed limits and dangerous parking which reduces visibility of children in and around school access points and crossings.

Brimbank highway patrol Acting Senior Sergeant Emile Caggiati said police are focused on making the area safer for children attending school.

“Children are some of our most vulnerable road users we have, usually due to age as they are unable to identify the dangers when exiting vehicles or walking or riding on or near a road,” he said.

“We have had multiple injury-collisions with school children, some due to restricted view due to illegally parked cars restricting the view for pedestrians and the motorists.

“Fortunately it appears in these cases the motorists were travelling below the speed limit.”

Acting Senior Sergeant Caggiati said drivers need to be alert when the school term begins.

“Driver complacency occurs due to six weeks of school holidays where school zone variable speed zones are suspended during this time,” he said.

“Simple maths 40 kilometres per hour is 40 kilometres per hour, every kilometre above increases the stopping distances and risk to children.

Acting Senior Sergeant Caggiati also encouraged children to be careful.

“Please use pedestrian crossings when available and always look both ways before crossing even if you have right of way,” he said.

The operation follows the worst year for deaths on Victorian roads in 15 years, with 296 deaths in 2023.

Acting Senior Sergeant Caggiati said it’s important to focus on road safety in the new year.

“On the back of our worst road toll in recent history, pedestrian and driver safety is paramount,” he said.