Government investment in safer school crossings a good start

8 April 2024 Education Issues

WACSSO welcomes today’s announcement of an additional $10 million investment in making WA school crossings safer from Term Two. For years, WACSSO State Councillors have discussed with various stakeholders the concerns parents across WA have regarding children getting to and from school safely. This investment represents a significant step forward and, we hope, will be the first of a series of actions to address the safety of roads around our schools.

“Road safety around schools is raised without fail at every State Council meeting we have during the year,” says WACSSO President Pania Turner. “With many Councillors describing situations including near-misses, accidents, and protracted waiting periods for crossing guards, this is a top-of-mind issue for our parents. It is so urgent, in fact, that the information we make available on our website regarding school crossing guards is one of our most highly visited pages of content,” she added.

WACSSO is the peak advisory body for over 650 P&Cs across WA. P&Cs are frequently called upon to undertake the application process to put a school crossing guard in place. This process includes recording foot and road vehicle traffic on roads surrounding schools at peak times. While not financially burdensome, the application process does require some time and effort from parents or volunteers to record and submit the numbers to the authorities.

“Today’s announcement is about making selected warden-controlled crossings in WA safer,” said Pania. “This is an excellent first step, and we congratulate the government on this commitment. Following the success of this investment, we hope that the government will commit to reviewing the number of wardens in place around WA schools and the process for appointment. Many schools need a warden, but are currently missing this resource because the application process is lengthy or there aren’t sufficient numbers of people applying for warden positions. We know the team at the WA Police Children’s Crossing Unit are doing the best they can, but more effort from a range of stakeholders is needed to increase the number of schools that can access this vital resource,” she urged.