A Warrnambool mother and resident of more than 20 years fears a pedestrian fatality similar to one at Banyan Street last month will occur if nothing is done to improve the safety of school children.
Donna Monaghan is calling for a school zone between Jamieson Street and Hopetoun Road on Raglan Parade, a stretch of road encompassing Emmanuel College and Warrnambool Primary School.
"A boy was nearly hit by a truck last month," she said.
"This is Warrnambool's busiest road at the busiest times of the day and we're letting our children cross it with no consideration for their safety."
The number of pedestrians is being audited by Warrnambool City Council's healthy moves officer and will be referred to Vic Roads. The records will be used to establish whether a remote crossing or school zone is necessary.
"I've lived on the corner of Raglan Parade and Hider Street for over 20 years and I've witnessed over that time many school children trying to cross the road from the other side of the highway to get to school," she said.
"There's no school gate on the other side of the highway. I always see close calls - there's children running across four lanes of road just to get across to the central median strip. There's traffic turning there in three directions so the children are potentially crossing 12 metres of road.
"I see it's only getting increasingly busier and we really need to slow things down for that peak period and time of day so we don't risk the fatality of a child. There's footpaths in place so there's definitely encouragement for pedestrian movement across that highway, but there's no safety measures."
Ms Monaghan said although the city council had conducted some preliminary work to assess the level of pedestrian traffic on the road, current numbers did not reflect the number of children who wanted to cross but did not in fear of their safety.
"There are children that are crossing the road every day but there is also a whole other group of children who want to cross that road but aren't allowed to because it's too dangerous," Ms Monaghan said.
"My feelings are that the figures presenting to Vic Roads aren't true figures in the sense that for safety reasons children aren't allowed to cross that road."
Emmanuel College principal Peter Morgan echoed Ms Monaghan's fears.
"There's no crossing on the highway anywhere in the vicinity of Emmanuel College," he said.
"There's no traffic light-controlled or supervised crossing anywhere near so students would find it very challenging to cross such a busy highway, especially in the mornings and afternoon when traffic is so heavy around those school zones.
"We are also concerned for the safety of the children because of the lack of traffic-calming measures on the highway."
Ms Monaghan said she feared her children would face the same dangers when they made the move to Emmanuel College.
"I've got two kids in grade 5 and I'm mindful that they'll be crossing the roads in the next year or so to get to Emmanuel College, so that is a real concern of mine," she said.
"I also know a lot of kids of similar age to mine who currently do cross that highway or will be crossing that highway and they're all really concerned. I mean, it's crazy that kids are crossing that road at peak traffic without any safety measures put in place."
Warrnambool Primary School principal Dean Clements said the school already had a 40km/h zone and the Hider and Ardlie Street crossing was not a particular problem for students.
Those interested in supporting the movement can follow the group's Facebook page here.
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