Mitchell Shire Council, VIC
School Crossing SafetyCam Initiative
Children are one of our community's most vulnerable groups when it comes to road safety. They may not be aware of their surroundings, have little understanding of the road rules, and their small stature makes them harder for drivers to see.
Across the Victoria, school crossings with dedicated Crossing Supervisors, reduced speed limits and parking restrictions have been put in place to provide safer places for children (and other pedestrians) to cross the road during busy school drop-off and pick-up times.
With increasing reports of drivers failing to stop, speeding through crossings, or abusing Crossing Supervisors, Mitchell Shire Council has implemented an innovative approach to improve the safety of children, parents, and Council staff at all its school crossings. The idea of using CCTV technology to improve public safety is not a new idea, however Mitchell Shire Council's approach provides a simple and cost-effective answer to increasing community accountability at school crossings across the Shire.
Mitchell Shire has instead opted for a novel 'post-mounted' option for their cameras that gives a much better view of the entire crossing and does not rely on the Crossing Supervisor facing the right way or being in the right place at the time of the incident.
The implementation was a collaboration within Council by Risk, Local Laws, Transport and Development, Operations, OHS and Communications units and outside of Council with the schools, the children and families, VicRoads, Crossing Victoria, the Broadford Men's Shed and the camera and software distributor.
The camera mounting's design includes a cover, allowing the recording of clear footage regardless of the weather conditions and this has been paired with signage to inform drivers and the community that School Crossing SafetyCam's are operating. Footage can be downloaded and reviewed by senior staff, and where necessary, forwarded to Victoria Police for further investigation. Footage has also been used to improve the training and support of Crossing Supervisors.
Since its inception, Mitchell Shire Council's School Crossing SafetyCam program has already seen positive changes in and around school crossings, meaning our children and other crossing users are safer getting to and from school.
The Award Category
The Road Safety category recognises local government projects that:
- improve road or roadside infrastructure with a focus on safety benefits including heavy vehicle transport
- improve emergency medical response services for those involved in road crashes or
- address the specific safety needs of vulnerable groups or target specific road user risk factors
Successful projects in this award category benefit communities by:
- making communities safer and more liveable
- reducing the financial costs of road congestion and transport accidents and
- contributing to reductions in deaths and serious injuries from road crashes.