Parents' plea for lights

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Castlereagh Public School is fighting to keep students safe as they arrive and depart each day but without flashing school zone lights, it is a very difficult task.

The school is situated on the corner of Post Office Road and Hinxman Road and shares a boundary with Castlereagh Road, which is signposted at 80km/h.

School Principal, Keith Hayman, is concerned for the safety of school children because of the “drag strip” that the roads have become.

“Unfortunately local residents and visitors to the area tend to use the roads as a bit of a drag strip. Cars throughout the day travel past the school in excess of 80km/h,” he said.

Mr Hayman has tried to take the safety of kids into his own hands, putting out flags by the crossing each morning and afternoon, and even gathering the support of local police but he says this can’t go on forever; flashing lights are a necessity.

“Penrith Police have been around to keep their eyes on things and we do our best to have a teacher out there all the time, whenever there are kids around, but we can’t keep doing it all the time,” Mr Hayman said.

Castlereagh Public School P&C President, Mary Vella, has seen her six children through the school, and wants to see a change.

“A lot of tradies, a lot of trucks, a lot of cars speed through the area but no-one realises that there is a school there,” Ms Vella said.

The P&C have exhausted all efforts to get lights put in to remind drivers of the school zone, to no prevail.

A spokesperson from Roads and Maritime Services said relatively low student numbers, the existing raised pedestrian crossing and high visibility on the surrounding roads meant the school had not received lights yet but: “it will be considered for future roll outs”.

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