School Zone Safety: Slow Down, We are Sharing the Road

School Zone Safety: Slow Down, We are Sharing the Road

Remember to slow down and pay attention when entering school zones

A Year Five pupil from SK Telok Medan was pronounced dead at the scene after he was knocked down by a lorry in front of the school last Wednesday. A CCTV footage, believed to have been recorded by the school’s security system, went viral after it was shared on social media yesterday.

The 35 second footage showed Mohamad Haikal Helme crossing the road to his school at the designated crossing spot to the school entrance. A crossing guard, who was manning the traffic, had also held up a “STOP” sign to allow the pupils to cross the road.

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The lorry driver had seen the victim crossing the road. But because the distance was too near, he could not stop the vehicle in time and ran over the pupil.

Ministry of Education

The Education Ministry will be working with police on traffic conditions in front of schools, especially those with entrances near a main road.

Sungai Siput, Perak, Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan urged the Road Transport Depart­ment (JPJ) and safety authorities to take stern action against motorists who speed in school zones.

“The ministry will look into improving safety measures but in the most recent incident, the driver was speeding without heeding the signs, even in the presence of a road safety guard,” he said.

What Can Parents Do?

If You’re Dropping off 

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  • Know the school’s designated drop-off point and crossing point
  • Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles
  • Don’t load or unload children across the street from the school
  • Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school

Remember You Are Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

  • Don’t block the zebra crossing forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic like motorbikes
  • Always stop for a school traffic guard on duty holding up a stop sign
  • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians

Remember You Are Sharing the Road with School Buses and Transporters

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  • Take extra care if you’re passing a school bus, van or transporter that has stopped to load or unload children
  • If you have to stop, stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
  • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

Remember You Could Be Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

This is not so common in the city, but in smaller towns this could be a possibility especially if the school is really near homes. Generally bikers are already hard to see. Children riding bikes are even harder to notice.

I don’t think road traffic safety are taught as an actual subject in schools in Malaysia. I seriously doubt some of these kids are taught basic bicycle safety. You got to admit that here in Malaysia, we are not very good at enforcing rules.

  • Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods
  • Watch for bikes coming from driveways, behind parked cars or in between cars
  • Check side mirrors before opening your door
  • Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this
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By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones.

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