A MT ELIZA mother has taken a stand after being “horrified” at the number of drivers disobeying road rules, ignoring 40kph school speed zones and disregarding flags at school crossings.
When her daughter was nearly run over at the unmanned crossing near Mt Eliza Secondary School, Jo Kidder decided to form the Mt Eliza Community Safety Group.
It was a cry from the heart which many in the community are now heeding.
Ms Kidder wrote to the police, school and Mornington Peninsula Shire to get things moving. In her letter she said: “These cars are coming from the village up Mt Eliza Way to Nepean Highway. They seem totally oblivious to the fact that the speed limit changes and a school crossing is approaching.
“Why do we not have a crossing guard? Why is there not a teacher supervising the crossing? Why do I have to fear for my daughter’s life as she tries to cross the road?”
Ms Kidder said sitting and waiting for her daughter to cross one day last week was a “prime example”.
“My daughter stopped, looked and was literally about to step onto the road when a car came at full speed and flew through the crossing without even registering that they are legally required to stop,” she said.
“I fully appreciate that we are teaching our teenagers and young adults to be self-sufficient, responsible, and mindful of their surroundings and situations, but this situation is just downright dangerous and illegal.
“Where are the speed cameras? Where are the police? Where is the school’s responsibility to ensure our children’s safety?”
Her letter received a prompt response and a meeting of council officers, councillors, residents and representatives of Mt Eliza’s chamber of commerce, Neighbourhood House and the community safety group was held. The group recognised that, to go through normal channels to get changes made was going to take time – with possibly no outcome – so they developed a Road Safety Sign Initiative.
Children from local schools were asked to come up with slogans that would prompt drivers to slow down and be aware of what is happening on the road and footpaths around them. The winning slogans came from pupils at St Thomas More Primary School.
Ten signs have now been placed in strategic areas either side of Kunyung Primary, Mt Eliza Primary, Mt Eliza Secondary, Mt Eliza North Primary and kindergarten and St Thomas More Primary School.
“These signs will, hopefully, alert drivers to slow down,” Ms Kidder said. “They will stay in place for four-six weeks and then be rotated to other areas or replaced with another sign displaying another slogan.”
Members of Mt Eliza Men’s Shed helped make and install the signs.
“The program will expand to a poster roll out to schools, as well as flyers for children to take home,” Ms Kidder said.
“It is all about the children educating the adults.”