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Molly calls for speed change near busses

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August 10, 2017

Luke Ward recovering with his family.

Twelve-year-old Molly Ward gave Benalla Rural City councillors something to think about when she addressed Wednesday’s council meeting.

Molly, who was joined by her mum Catherine, spoke passionately on the subject of street signs around school bus routes with reference to her brother Luke, who was hit by a car in November 2015.

‘‘Can the council please place more signs on public roads to make them aware of school busses?’’ she asked.

She also requested that laws were implemented to ensure motorists travelled at a maximum of 40km/h when passing school busses.

Luke Ward was hit by a car travelling at 85km/h after getting off a school bus.

He was rushed by air to the Royal Children’s Hospital where he spent six months recovering before being able to return home and to school.

The point was raised that if the the car was travelling below 40km/h his injuries would have been far less severe.

Councillors thanked Molly for her question and Mayor Don Firth said the council would take it on notice and respond to her directly by letter.

That letter is likely to please Molly and her family with the council actively taking steps to address the issues raised.

Following Luke’s accident a review of all rural bus routes was undertaken with input from the school bus coordinator, council representatives and VicRoads.

As a result Benalla Rural City Council has installed additional signage on the Samaria, Goomalibee, Tungamah, and Upper Lurg routes, while VicRoads has improved signage on the Mansfield and Tatong routes.

The council will review this again in 2018 as students and stops can change from year to year.

Cr Firth congratulated Molly on her presentation and her composure in speaking up about an important safety matter.

‘‘School bus stop safety is very important,’’ Cr Firth said.

The Mayor said Molly’s request to change the speed limit and, therefore the road rules, would be presented to the state government, VicRoads and Victoria Police through the council’s local safety committee.

Residents are encouraged to report safety improvement ideas to the council by phoning their Customer Service Centre on (03)57602600 or emailing council@benalla.vic.gov.au

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