Be responsible when parking driving around our school

It's time to remind everyone about how to be a responsible member of the Ridgway School community. In particular, when dropping off your child to school or when picking them up at the end of the school day.

What's the problem?

I received three complaints within a 10 day period about the driving or parking behaviour of our parents from either other parents or members of the wider community. This is in addition to the conversations I've had with individual parents and the interactions that Martin Anscombe has had while on duty in the mornings. I've also witnessed numerous incidences of poor parking or careless driving within this period.

Specific complaints have been about drivers not stopping at pedestrian crossings even though pedestrians are waiting to cross and about parking on yellow lines near to the school.

Pedestrian Crossings

We monitor the two pedestrian crossings closest to the school and train our Year 6 tamariki to do "Road Patrol". When Road Patrol is operating drivers may not need to stop for waiting pedestrians as the Road Patrollers will wave them on and hold pedestrians until there is a break in the traffic. This keeps traffic flowing. Drivers need to pay close attention at crossings nearby schools at the start and finish of the school day to notice whether or not a Road Patrol is operating. If there is no Road Patrol, then drivers and riders must follow the road rules for a pedestrian crossing.

Yellow Lines

Yellow lines tell drivers that they can't stop there. They are there to make sure that all road users can see other traffic and pedestrians. There is no exception for "just a minute". Coleridge Street residents have expressed frustration at the difficulty they have entering and exiting their street at school drop off and pick up times. Drivers must remember that the yellow lines are there to keep everyone safe, and can't be ignored just for the sake of their own convenience.

What's the solution?

We know that parking is limited nearby the school and there is little that we can do about it. What we can control is our own driver behaviour. Our combined attention to traffic safety and ongoing courtesy to others at the school drop off and pick up is what ensures that all of our children get to school safe and happy. All of us have a role to play in this. Thank you to those of you who already understand this and always park legally.

Being a responsible parent at drop off and pick up

Here are some tips to help those of you who are new to Ridgway School get your children to and from school safely.

  1. Walk your child to school. You may want to join a Walking School Bus or get together with your neighbours to form a new bus route.

  2. Don't park on yellow lines.

    1. Don't park on the yellow lines across the road from school.

    2. Don't park on the yellow lines at the entrance to Coleridge Street.

    3. Never stop on the yellow lines outside the school gate to drop off your child.

  3. Plan ahead to park a bit further away from the school gate. Park further down Mornington Road (as far away as the Tennis Club if need be) and enjoy the walk with your child.

  4. When parking in the 2 minute (bus stop) or 10 minute parking zones before school;

    1. only park in these zones if you are just dropping off. If you plan on escorting your child to their classroom, park further away.

    2. pull up as far as you can so that the next car can park behind you. Martin Anscombe is on duty here most days and will direct you.

  5. When parking in the bus stop or 10 minute parking zones after school

    1. Realise that until 3pm the bus stop is a BUS STOP. You can't park here before 3pm. This term we have swimming buses dropping children off and the bus needs free access to the stop to unload children safely.

    2. Don't sit here in your car waiting until 3pm. Park further away and walk to the gate.

  6. When you leave your park, keep driving down Mornington Road. DON'T do a U Turn from your park. Instead go around the block by turning at Vennel Street by Vogelmorn Hall.

  7. If you fail in any of the areas above, a Ridgway staff member may talk to you to point out the problem with your parking or driving. If this happens, please respond respectfully. We are doing our best to keep all of our children safe.

I know that it's tiresome for the majority of our whānau, who are already driving and parking with extra caution, to hear this message again. I'm sorry that I need to write this blog at all. The safety of our children is everybody's responsibility and we need everyone in our school community doing all that they can to keep all of our children safe. As a parent I can't seek to keep my own child safe (by dropping them on the yellow line by the school gate) while putting other people's children at risk (by parking illegally). If you've let your driving habits slip lately, or if you are guilty of any of the poor driver choices mentioned above - it's time to do better. For everyone's sake.

Do you even know the road rules? Test your knowledge of the Road Code.


Visit the Waka Kotahi site for lots of tips like these ones...

Pedestrian crossings If you are within 20 metres of a pedestrian crossing, footbridge, underpass or traffic signals, you must use it to cross the road. Don't dawdle on a pedestrian crossing. Don't step out suddenly onto a pedestrian crossing if any vehicles are so close to the crossing that they cannot stop.
  • Teach your children to be safe on the roads and footpaths. Show them where it is safe to walk and how to cross the road safely.

  • Show your children the safest way to school, the shops, the playground or other places they go regularly.

  • If your children are five years old or under, walk with them to school or preschool.

Remember to watch for children when reversing into or out of driveways and garages.

Watch these School Traffic Safety videos to learn more about how Road Patrol works.

School Traffic Safety Teams 1: Introduction

School Traffic Safety Teams 2: Pedestrian Crossings

Know the Road Code

Learn more online - Driving

Take a mock test on the Road Code and check you actually know the road rules!

Kia ora whānau
We are all in this together! Thanks for being part of the solution!

MoST Content Management V3.0.8634