Collisions between vehicles and pedestrians continue to be the second highest cause of fatalities in the workplace – so how is your school handling key hazards? Recent prosecutions have shown that when schools fail to initiate safe transport measures at their sites, the consequences can be disastrous. 

By taking four essential steps to manage the mix of vehicles, pupil and parents, you can successfully reduce collision risks and prevent claims across your campus – from drop off to pick up and all points in between.

Segregate people and vehicles

  • Provide separate gates to discourage people walking through vehicle entrances.
  • Where possible, don’t allow pedestrian routes to run through a car park.
  • Designate pedestrian pathways, with barriers between pedestrian and traffic routes where achievable. This also encourages people to use crossings when required.
  • Where pedestrian walkways have to cross vehicle routes, implement zebra crossings.

Design traffic routes and car parks to reduce collisions 

  • Set speed limits and enforce them with clear signage and speed bumps.
  • Keep visibility unobstructed by eliminating blind corners where individuals cannot spot hazards. Consider the visibility impact of objects, vegetation, building structures and signs.
  • Establish vehicle routes away from opening doors and gates to prevent someone stepping into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
  • Reduce the need for reversing. Where practicable, make your vehicle routes one-way.
  • Allocate ample space in car parks to avoid difficult manoeuvres.
  • Do not allow people to park outside designated spaces as it may restrict route widths and visibility.
  • Provide good lighting, assessing how trees and other objects may reduce visibility through shadows.
  • Make sure the road surface is firm, even, well-drained and free from obstructions.

Consider who will use traffic areas

  • Use barriers to control access. Where viable, install automatic barriers in staff car parks to prevent unauthorised parking, particularly during pick up times. Barriers should be serviced regularly to ensure that key safety features – such as sensors to detect pedestrians under the bar – are working correctly. Vertical barriers are preferable to horizontal swing gates, as these can be hard to spot when open and pointing towards an oncoming vehicle.
  • Offer additional, separate spaces for visitors, if possible.
  • Schedule deliveries for quiet campus times and set out an area for safe unloading, away from traffic routes. Reversing should be minimised – for example, by using a designated loading bay on a one-way system.
  • Situate disabled parking spaces in suitable locations.

Make special provisions for buses

  • Confirm that minibuses, coaches and buses can position themselves to allow students to board and exit directly to and from a safe area, rather than into a traffic route or road. Aim to locate lay-bys on the school side of the street, to prevent pupils walking into the road from behind a bus.
  • Provide sufficient lay-by space for all necessary buses, and do not allow disembarkation or boarding from other areas. Instead, make sure that drivers wait for the designated space to become free.
  • Consider how queueing or disembarking students may block visibility of traffic routes or roads – and organise parking areas and pupil behaviours to avoid this.

Southalls provides expert advice on all aspects of school safety, from collision risks to COVID-19 controls. To chat through your health and safety programme with an experienced education sector specialist, get in touch on 0345 257 4015.