By Mikayla van Loon
Lilydale’s proactive policing unit has been out and about encouraging school children to use pedestrian crossings as they make their way across roads.
Leading Senior Constable Luke Egginton and Constable Sophie Stinger posted themselves at a school crossing outside St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Lilydale on Thursday 2 November.
“Some [kids] are a little hesitant, you can tell a few are like ‘what are you doing here?’ but they stop and speak to us and we hand out some stuff and we just say well done on crossing at the crossing, so it’s been good,” Leading SC Egginton said.
Aiming to raise awareness around the importance of crossing roads safely at the designated spot, Constable Stinger said it is also about awareness of 40km zones.
“It’s a bit of a reminder even for the drivers as a bit more of a visible presence that they do also have to slow down,” she said.
Having recently attended a school crossing in Montrose when the school term returned, Leading SC Egginton said it’s something the proactive unit likes to do on a regular basis.
“We’ll probably get out to some more crossings. Usually, we’ll try to get out just after school holidays as a reminder to drivers that school’s back, to slow down and be aware of the crossing because people do forget,” he said.
Seeing a friendly police presence outside of schools also helps build relationships between the children and officers.
By handing out lollipops and activity books, Leading SC Egginton and Constable Stinger agreed it makes learning that bit more accessible to primary school aged children.
Constable Stinger said the work of crossing supervisors is extremely important in making a difference to road safety.
“Any visibility and awareness makes a difference. People might forget if it’s just a normal pedestrian crossing and they become a little bit complacent,” she said.