School to make safety fun


David Gribble and Constable Care turned the first sod at the Transport Safety Learning School. |Picture: Toyah Shakespeare
David Gribble and Constable Care turned the first sod at the Transport Safety Learning School. |Picture: Toyah Shakespeare

The $1.7 million building will be attached to the Constable Care Child Safety Foundation headquarters, which aims to teach 30,000 primary school-aged children a year about road safety, public transport and bicycle safety.

Education Minister Peter Collier said WA children made up a disproportionate number of road deaths compared with children in other states, making up 11 per cent of the population but 20 per cent of the country’s child road deaths.

“Our students will leave the school equipped with essential skills about road safety, public transport and bike safety to set the foundation for responsible road use in future years,” he said.

Constable Care Child Safety Foundation chief executive David Gribble said the school was set to have a long-term impact on road safety in the state and hoped it would save lives.

“(For example) they learn about safely crossing a railway line,” he said. “One of the major risk issues for children is they get caught inside the pedestrian maze gates.

“Kids freeze on the railway tracks and don’t know how to get out – they don’t need to get out, they just need to get into the safety zone; we can teach that.”

Mr Gribble said the hi-tech and interactive centre would involve assuming three roles – pedestrians, public transport users and children will become road users by donning bicycle gear and riding bicycles.

A fantasy 3-4m high version of Perth will include replica historical buildings, school zones, road works, bus stops, cycle paths, rail crossings and traffic lights.

He said Transperth would fit out a working platform in which students would board a train simulator.

“(It will give) them the feel of being on the Transperth train line, through to augmented reality iPads that allow them to learn about the history of Perth in action (and) risks on the road such as backing cars in driveways,” Mr Gribble said.

Maylands MLA Lisa Baker MLA said the school would help WA suburbs become “pedestrian-friendly” communities.

“My office often fields calls from local parents who are concerned about the safety of their kids on the walk to school,” she said.

The Education Department, Lotterywest, Bayswater Community Financial Services, Brookfield Rail, Quadrant Energy and Downermouchel funded the project.

The school is likely to be open by Term 1 next year.