Push for 40km/h zones near childcare centres

Source: Port Macquarie News

CHILDCARE centre managers in the northern NSW city of Port Macquarie have asked why toddlers lives are put at risk each day.

They have called for Transport for NSW to take the same action as they have done with primary, high schools and even TAFE campuses across the country and adopt 40km/h speed zones.

The directors of three centres were at a loss as to why the areas were not included in the slower speed zones.

Director of Fernhill Road Preschool and Long Day Care Centre Julie Bellamy said it didn’t make sense allowing faster travelling traffic around younger children.

“Children that come to day care are at that age where they can be unpredictable,” she said.

“Something extra needs to be done, whether the speed limit’s lowered, or speed humps or something similar is put in place.”

Mrs Bellamy said the addition of the slower zones at day care centres would benefit everyone.

“Obviously it would make things safer for our young ones, but, it would also get them and the parents used to it for when they eventually do go to school,” she said.

“Plus, a difference of 10km/h would have very little impact on drivers, but, would make a huge difference to the safety of kids.”

Staff at Day Care on Lincoln agree with the sentiment and said they would also like to see more police in the area.

Carer at the centre, Emma Farthing, said motorists often speed through the area.

“We have strict regulations that children must be accompanied by adults when they are out the front,” she said.

“But it’s ridiculous how fast some people travel through here.

“All it takes is for a kid to run off all of a sudden.”

Fellow director at the centre Kelly Ison said she would like to see a greater police presence.

“There’s two centres down this way, surely they [police] could find time to do a quick check every now and then,” she said. Owner of Bangalay Child Care Centre Jane Tink believes introducing the slower speeds around the centres held the utmost importance.

Mrs Tink believes so strongly in it she said requests to the then RTA were made years ago to lower the speed limit near the centre.

“But from memory we never heard back from them,” she said. “At the very least there should be warning signs around to warn motorists there’s children around.

“Besides, it really wouldn’t hurt drivers to slow down just a little bit more.”

Port Macquarie Police refused to comment.

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