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Cars vs kids prompts warning

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
A 12-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after being struck by a car outside Newton Moore Senior High School.
Camera IconA 12-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after being struck by a car outside Newton Moore Senior High School. Credit: South Western Times

Authorities are calling for more attention on roads around Bunbury schools after two children were taken to hospital in as many weeks in frighteningly close calls.

A 13-year-old boy was riding his bicycle near Dalyellup College on February 13 when police say he struck the side of a car travelling on Walton Approach about 8.35am.

The boy was taken to Bunbury Hospital where he was assessed and discharged a short time later.

Nine days later, a 12-year-old boy was rushed to the same hospital after being struck by a car outside Newton Moore Senior High School during the early morning rush.

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Police and paramedics were called to the incident about 8.40am following reports the boy had run out in front of a car.

The boy was released from hospital at the weekend with the extent of his injuries not known.

While the circumstances around both incidents are still being looked into by police, the South West’s top cop has called for all road users to be more vigilant.

South West Supt Mick Sutherland said drivers could not afford to be distracted in an already “chaotic” environment.

“The environment around schools can seem chaotic with vehicles stopping, people moving in and out of vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians,” Supt Sutherland said.

South West Supt Mick Sutherland said drivers could not afford to be distracted in an already “chaotic” environment.
Camera IconSouth West Supt Mick Sutherland said drivers could not afford to be distracted in an already “chaotic” environment. Credit: South Western Times

“Often drivers are distracted by those in their own vehicles and may be focused on parking, lunch boxes and school projects rather than devoting their full attention on driving.

“However, these are the reasons that drivers need to be extra vigilant around schools.

“Children can be unpredictable ... their road sense is not sufficiently developed for them to be relied on to act safely, especially when crossing roads or riding bicycles.”

He urged drivers to concentrate and drive at appropriate speeds, not just in school zones but also around school crossings and other roads used by students.

“The time to deal with potential distractions is when parked,” he said.

Department of Education acting Statewide services executive director Martin Clery said the schools in the vicinity of both incidents had reiterated the importance of road safety to students.

“Road safety is taught as an important part of the school curriculum and adds to the information parents give their children regarding road safety awareness,” Mr Clery said.

“The schools involved have reiterated the importance of road safety either through direct communication with their school communities or through teaching road safety in class.”

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