Opinion

Safe school crossing needed

By Shepparton News

A collision on the Goulburn Valley Hwy in Kialla West yesterday could have resulted in death had a heavier vehicle been involved.

The incident took place at the Kialla West Primary School’s crossing after a vehicle had stopped after the command of the lollipop lady.

But a truck failed to stop, which resulted in injuries to three occupants younger than 12.

The reality is, had the incident taken place just minutes earlier, children could have been crossing the road and could have been swept up in the path of the vehicles.

The News hears a degree of frustration from the community at the school regarding the level of safety along the highway.

While the zone remains 40 km/h during school dropoff and pick-up hours, it returns to 80 km/h at other times.

Another element of the speed decrease involves the fact that for some time vehicles have been travelling at 110 km/h and can become less alert to changes in the speed limit after becoming complacent.

The incident has prompted residents of the area and parents to question why a safer crossing has not been installed yet.

With the ongoing growth of housing at Kialla and Kialla West, the school is also due to receive more enrolments and consequently more students will need to use this crossing into the future.

There are plenty of factors at play here. And some suggestions have already been bandied around, including safety barriers and separating the pedestrian crossing along this strip of road from this busy highway.

Perhaps linked with this discussion is also the longoverdue Goulburn Valley Hwy Shepparton bypass.

While this project would have many economic and amenity benefits, one of the most important elements would be removing trucks from central Shepparton.

However, with even an early stage of this $1 billion project proving contentious and still a way off being completed, the stage that would have trucks removed from this section of road is only set to become a reality somewhere off in the distant future.

It is difficult to know what, if indeed any, of these factors were at play in yesterday’s collision.

But safety along this road, passing by a school is clearly a conversation worth having.