By JARED FAWKNER*
BRIDGEWATER Police has noticed a reduction in vehicle and pedestrian traffic within the last few months due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, as restrictions ease vehicle and pedestrian traffic is becoming more prevalent on our roads. There have already been complaints about driver behaviour at Brighton Primary School and within the Brighton community generally, particularly parents double parking outside the school.
Bridgewater Police reminds parents to obey the road rules, park legally and safely around the school. Drivers must obey the 40km/h speed limit and both drivers and pedestrians should follow the directions of the school crossing and/or guard. Please don’t become complacent or inattentive within the school zone as children’s behaviour can be unpredictable. Their safety is paramount.
Drivers and pedestrians are also asked to be vigilant, alert and patient while using public streets. The fatal five: speeding, drink or drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt or helmet, inattention and fatigue still contribute to serious accidents and fatalities.
There have been complaints of vehicles speeding along residential streets as well as trail bikes being ridden illegally. The default speed limit within a built-up area is 50km/h unless signed otherwise. Motorists must obey the road rules and drive to the conditions.
Riding trail bikes in certain areas is not only illegal it’s dangerous. The use of trail bikes on recreational grounds within 500 metres of a house is illegal in certain circumstances. It impacts on residents particularly noise and putting pedestrians at risk. Usually, bikes are unregistered, riders are youths and/or unlicensed, they tend to have little to no respect for other road users and riders are unlikely to wear a helmet or appropriate safety gear. Failure to wear appropriate safety equipment including helmets puts them at greater risk of being involved in a serious or fatal crash.
While police enforce the laws, parents and guardians have a role to play in curbing bad behaviour. Adults should carefully consider buying trail bikes and whether their child will have somewhere to ride. Have a conversation with your child or teenager about responsible rider behaviour.
Police can enter premises, seize motor vehicles, including bikes, where there is evidence of offending. They also have powers to seize an offending trail bike or vehicle and have it stored resulting in additional towage or storage fees for owners before the vehicle can be returned. Where drivers or riders continue to offend, vehicle or bikes may be disposed of.
Officers will continue to actively monitor the Brighton Primary School, and illegal motorbike riding as well as poor driving behaviour within the community.
Contact police on 131 444 to report suspicious behaviour or CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000. You can report this information anonymously. Remember 000 is for emergencies only.
*Jared Fawkner is acting sergeant of Bridgewater Police