Parents fear a child will be killed if drivers don't follow rules

A PARENT at Warrnambool East Primary School is urging drivers to follow the rules as she fears for her children’s safety.

School-mum Amanda Ligthart said drivers were coming dangerously close to harming pedestrians as they used a neighbouring cul-de-sac to drop children at school. 

The cul-de-sac is within metres of the intersection of Nicholson and Flaxman streets in east Warrnambool.

Fury: Gabriell Hoare, 7, sister Dominique Ligthart, 1, and mum Amanda Ligthart are worried about child safety at drop-offs. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Fury: Gabriell Hoare, 7, sister Dominique Ligthart, 1, and mum Amanda Ligthart are worried about child safety at drop-offs. Picture: Rob Gunstone

The privately-owned land is used as a car park for a dancing school and access for local residents.

Mrs Lighart said the area was being illegally used as a drop-off area for children, despite the existence of no-standing signs.

Recently Mrs Lighart said she was forced to stand between her daughter’s pram and a reversing vehicle which she believed did not see her.

“It worries me everyday that it’s going to take a child to be injured or killed before drivers realise the danger they are causing by parking here,” she said. “It’s not good enough. This is an area of high walking traffic and cars shouldn’t even be here.

“I’m sure if it was their child close to being hit by cars they’d want someone to do something too.”

Mrs Lighart is urging parents to drop their children at the school’s carpark on Ward Street.

“It’s as simple as follows the signs, it should all work easily if people do that.”

Warrnambool Police community engagement unit Leading Senior Constable John Keats said they were also working to get the message through to drivers.

“Kids and cars don’t mix and people need to do the right thing,” he said. “The safety of kids is paramount.

“We get a lot of complaints and this isn’t the only school.

“We will continue to work with the school throughout the year. Particularly with the winter weather coming.”

School principal Michelle Bickley-Miller said they had tried to send a consistent message to offenders.

“We’ve purchased flags, mentioned it in numerous newsletters, we’ve staffed the area several times and we’ve been as proactive as we can on school compass (communication system).”

Ms Bickley-Miller reiterated that installing barricades at the road’s entrance was not feasible.

“We need to leave access for emergency vehicles and tradesmen as well as private access for residents in the cul-de-sac.”

A Warrnambool City Council spokesman confirmed that local laws officers had recently been on-site to talk to drivers, had spoken to the school, that advice had been included in the school newsletter and infringement notices had been issued.