Crossing the road to Junction Park State School – safely.

As students return to school this week, the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) is calling on Brisbane drivers to slow down around school zones, as part of its latest road safety campaign Safely Backpacks.

The campaign sees students turned into powerful reminders of the importance of travelling at the right speed, sporting a 40km speed sign on their backpack.

“We want every child to make it to school safely, which is why we’re urging all drivers to watch their speed in school zones. It’s important that all drivers do their part to stay within the speed limit to help make our communities safer, stronger and more resilient,” said Russell White, Founder and CEO of the ARSF.

“We understand that people are often in a rush to get somewhere, but it’s not worth risking the life of anyone to get to work on time. Every year thousands of motorists are caught speeding in school zones and endangering our communities, so take a moment, slow down and pay attention to your surroundings,” said Mr White.

In the 12 months to February 2017, 172 pedestrians were killed in road incidents[1].

To maintain the safety of its students and eliminate road incidents, Junction Park State School in Annerley has taken up the initiative by making the 40km speed sign backpacks compulsory for its students.

Bags were given out to prep students at Junction Park State students by Tue, 18th April 2017 with Principal Christine Wood calling out to all schools around Australia to get involved.

“We’re excited to be a part of this new initiative which will help save kids’ lives. We want parents to feel safe when they send their child to school and are thrilled to be able to offer these to our students at no cost,” said Christine Wood, Principal of Junction Park State School.

“We’re calling on our peers to use this opportunity to educate their students of the risks while giving them a practical solution to help keep them safe,” said Ms Wood.

Safely Backpacks follows on from the success of ARSF’s 2016 campaign Safety Stickers which saw ordinary bins transformed into lifesaving tools, featuring stickers of children and speed signs to remind drivers of the importance of travelling at the right speed.

Parents or schools interested in purchasing a Safely Backpack can do so by contacting the ARSF hotline on 1300 723 843 or email info@australianroadsafetyfoundation.com. For more information, please visit www.australianroadsafetyfoundation.com

[1] https://bitre.gov.au/statistics/safety/ – Safety Statistics, Road Safety Statistics, Road deaths by road user group: 12 months to February