SLOW DOWN OR YOU COULD KILL A CHILD
By ANN-MARIE MAY
JULIE Dunn has one of the most dangerous jobs on the Coffs Coast ? she is a lollipop lady.
Reporting to work for eight shifts a week at the busy intersection of Joyce and Bray streets, Mrs Dunn is constantly left shaking her head at the lack of respect motorists have for school pedestrian crossings.
"Even when I'm standing on the crossing with my stop sign cars have kept driving through. I've almost been taken out many times," Mrs Dunn said.
Her plight is similar to many of the lollipop ladies and men, now called crossing supervisors, along the Coffs Coast who help get our children safely on their way to and from school every day. In a week when crossing safety was put in the spotlight by a series of accidents around the State, the mother of three said she couldn't understand the attitude of drivers.
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"People just don't take notice of crossings anymore. In my experience very few cars slow down," Mrs Dunn said.
This claim was verified while we interviewed Mrs Dunn.
As one lady tried to make her way onto the Joyce Street crossing, four cars sped through, showing no sign of ever stopping.
"That happens every day. It doesn't seem to matter to people that it's the law to slow down and stop at a crossing," Mrs Dunn said.
Four children run down on or near pedestrian crossings in school zones in the space of two weeks has sparked a call for urgent action and a tougher approach to driver behaviour in school zones.
Among the suggestions to make school crossings safer is flashing lights in school zones, an increase in fines and demerit points for ignoring the rules of school zones.
"I'm not sure what will work. Flashing lights as well as crossing supervisors is a good idea, but I don't know if even that will get them (motorists) to take any notice. But something needs to be done, and soon," Mrs Dunn said.
"People can no longer presume they are safe just because they are on a crossing."
What do you think? Send your letters to the Coffs Coast Advocate, in 150 words or less, email editor@coffscoastadvo- cate.com.au