Police are appealing for particular care to be taken around schools as some double up on students to assist those venues that are still closed following the Christchurch earthquake.
The majority of schools will be back in action from tomorrow (Monday. 14 March) but as a number of school buildings are yet to be deemed safe, some of the functional schools are providing share.
The central transport hub that students ordinarily use is also out of action meaning some change to the central meeting points for public transport. There are also staggered start times so some residents and motorists will experience a greater influx of students in certain areas and outside of normal school times.
These arrangements are likely to lead to higher traffic levels around drop-off and pick-up times and an increased risk to both motorists and pedestrians.
Supt Russell Gibson said: "The school arrangements are another great example of the resilience of the Christchurch community and a desire to keep life as normal as possible. It will however be a big upheaval for many students unfamiliar with their surroundings, and the situation can be greatly assisted with some patience and care around these locations."
Parents and students are being asked to check school websites for specific arrangements.
Police are issuing the following messages:
• Students are encouraged to ensure they wear coats and bags that make themselves highly visible
• If cycling wear effective safety equipment
• If travelling by car try to car share
• Don't use mobile phones while driving
• Make sure everyone is properly restrained in vehicles
• Keep speeds down
• Be alert especially keeping an eye out for pedestrians and students on bikes and scooters and around school buses
• Don't park illegally - this can hinder visibility
• Be considerate
• Be patient
Police will be providing high visibility patrols around schools particularly at changeover times and will be enforcing the road rules to ensure everyone's safety.
The venues that are providing share facilities and where extra care is required are:
• Burnside High School
• St Bede's College
• Papanui High School
Christchurch Media Liaison Team: 027 432 0960 or ChchPoliceMediaLiason@police.govt.nz
Public Affairs: 04 460 2986 or 04 474 9482