Protect our kids: Locals want 40km/hr signs back up

Early childhood services in Broken Hill want lower speed limits reinforced near centres to keep families safe.

Local preschools and day care providers have thrown support behind Broken Hill City Council’s fresh attempt to install 40 kilometres per hour signage in those areas.

Happy Day Preschool and Long Day Care director, Amy Johnson, welcomed the Council’s push to update Transport NSW’s rules in these zones.

“I think the Government need to wake up,” she said. “All we are asking is that they wipe off ten kilometres for about a minute.

“It’s not impacting road users and we could save a child’s life.”

The 40km/hr signs were taken down last year as it was deemed ineligible given that toddlers and preschoolers would be escorted by a guardian.

Ms Johnson was influential in starting a petition that gathered instant support and received over 500 signatures.

“Our service, in particular, doesn’t have onsite parking for parents,” Mrs Johnson said.

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“Many of them are crossing the road with two or three children. Because of our position on the hill, it makes it dangerous.”

Pedestrian safety infrastructure was installed to replace the speed signage to alert motorists that children are nearby.

Broken Hill City Council Councillor, Marion Browne, said she hopes the motion to reinstate the lower speed zone will be supported by Local Government NSW (LGNSW).

“We are already used to driving forty kilometres per hour around schools,” she said.

“It does make things safer, especially for little kids because they don’t have the road sense.

“It will be a feather in the cap for Broken Hill if it can get supported by Local Government NSW.”

Cr Browne, who sits on the traffic committee, said the motion will be taken to a LGNSW conference this month to help change legislation around all NSW childcare centres and long day-care centres.

Silverlea Early Childhood Services wants to see the changes come into effect all year round.

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“Safety is paramount in every situation,” director Angela Trembath said. “We don’t observe school holidays, so we don’t have a break.

“It needs to be a constant thing and be done as soon as possible.”

Mrs Trembath said there is daily road activity close to the centre and believes a reduced speed limit will put staff and families at some ease.

“We have a lot of freight trucks that come past our service every day… even a little reduction is better than nothing,” she said.

Over on Patton Lane, Rainbow Preschool are fully behind the cause and believe the motion is a step in the right direction.

The preschool’s Director, Nicole Delbridge, was pleased that the issue was still being addressed.

“Even though students are under supervision, it only takes a second to let go of a parent,” she said.

“We are happy that Council are supporting early childhood providers.”

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Mrs Delbridge recalled some near misses at the roadside and believes safety should always be at the forefront.

“Even though we are not on Broken Hill’s main roads, we still have drivers coming around at high speeds,” she said.

“As a community, we should be about reducing risk and increasing safety.”

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