Inquest probes 4WD safety near schools

Submitted: Monday, May 16, 2005 at 22:37
ThreadID: 23046 Views:2404 Replies:13 FollowUps:12
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http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Inquest-probes-4WD-safety-near-schools/2005/05/16/1116095891258.html

Inquest probes 4WD safety near schools
May 16, 2005 - 12:32PM

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An inquest investigating the safety of four-wheel drive vehicles on school grounds began today in Glebe Coroners Court.

The inquest is a consequence of the death of five-year-old Bethany Holder, who was run over by a four-wheel drive Nissan Patrol inside the grounds of Pittwater High School at Mona Vale on July 24, 2002.

The driver of the vehicle, Joan Waterhouse, was sentenced to 250 hours community service and had her licence suspended for three years.

Senior Deputy state coroner Jacqueline Milledge stressed that the inquest was an inquiry into the safety of four-wheel drives in school areas and not into Ms Waterhouse's guilt.

Senior constable Aaron Kraesst told the inquest no car other than staff vehicles should be allowed on school grounds.

"In my opinion, from doing this job, I really don't think vehicles other than staff vehicles should be allowed on school grounds," he said.

The inquest is continuing
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, May 16, 2005 at 22:56

Monday, May 16, 2005 at 22:56
Now its a design flaw

Death crash inquest told of 4WD design flaw
By Geesche Jacobsen
May 16, 2005 - 12:36PM

The driver of a four-wheel-drive vehicle that struck and killed a five year-old girl would have had limited vision, a coronial inquest has heard.

Bethany Holder died after she was hit by a Nissan Patrol trying to park in the grounds of Pittwater House School, Collaroy, in July 2002.

A crash investigator told the court today the driver might have had trouble seeing the girl because of the design of the car and the design of the school grounds. Bethany was only 102 centimetres tall.

The inquest continues in Glebe Coroners Court.

AAP reports: Senior Deputy state coroner Jacqueline Milledge stressed that the inquest was an inquiry into the safety of four-wheel-drives in school areas, not into the guilt of the driver of the vehicle, Ms Joan Waterhouse.

In 2003 Ms Waterhouse was sentenced to 250 hours' community service and had her licence suspended for three years.

Senior constable Aaron Kraefft told the inquest no car other than staff vehicles should be allowed on school grounds.

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Advertisement"In my opinion, from doing this job, I really don't think vehicles other than staff vehicles should be allowed on school grounds," he said.
AnswerID: 111548

Follow Up By: conman - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 18:07

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 18:07
Channel ten news tonight,

"she couldn't see over the bullbar" !
Yeah, ever since i fitted my bullbar I need a periscope to see ahead of me, and that cb aerial is a Massive blind spot.

Could be a flood of second hand 4wd's on the market if you belive the sensationalists.
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FollowupID: 368020

Follow Up By: Member - Matt Mu (Perth-WA) - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 23:27

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 23:27
Did you hear the results (recommendations) tonight of the inquest.

Separate licensing for 4wd over 2T
4WD ban with Xmetres of school
Ban vehicle movement in school grounds

OK, so I know of a few accidents with kids and buses, so why are buses alowed within Kooee of schools...and the licensing, well they have been wanting that for ages. Very hard to instigate, but the seed in the3 publics mind is now there!

So rather than deal with the issue of one inattentive driver and a tradgic mistake, it has been used as a 4WD vendetta?

God help us all, we will all be wrapped in cotton soon, to protect the population not intelligent enough to make an informed descision to keep themselves safe. I though that was called natural selection.
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FollowupID: 368087

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 00:01

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 00:01
.... but the seed in the3 publics mind is now there!
BINGO... someone else sees it the same way.

So rather than deal with the issue of one inattentive driver and a tradgic mistake, it has been used as a 4WD vendetta?
Yup, thats what the media do so well, not report any facts, but turnbleepall into a nightmare.
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FollowupID: 368095

Reply By: Toy_Hilux - Monday, May 16, 2005 at 22:59

Monday, May 16, 2005 at 22:59
Wonder if the same could be said about cars as well. When I worked in the Qld Education Dept. here where I live, our policy was, no vehicles were allowed in the school grounds apart from the Groundspersons work vehicle.
AnswerID: 111550

Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, May 16, 2005 at 23:25

Monday, May 16, 2005 at 23:25
As an ex chalkie, I totally agree.
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FollowupID: 367897

Reply By: peterK - Monday, May 16, 2005 at 23:36

Monday, May 16, 2005 at 23:36
Although the media headlines were targetting the 4wd factor, the coroner's recommendations were not actually along the typical "anti 4wd" carry on.
As already mentioned the main bit was about seperating kids from traffic. In this case they also proved that the driver could not see the child because of the car design.
So really if thats the case its exactly what I think should happen. Do a proper investigation and make recommendations to prevent a reoccurance. If it means car manufacturers are pressured to improve or include safety considerations such as reversing cameras, over the bonnet and rear vision , steps to protect others - it can only be a good thing.

AnswerID: 111556

Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, May 16, 2005 at 23:51

Monday, May 16, 2005 at 23:51
There shouldn't be any moving vehicles on school grounds while there are children there, full stop.
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FollowupID: 367904

Reply By: Member - Brad (NSW) - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 02:48

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 02:48
Its amazing how there was no iquest into commodores after one went through the round house child care center.

That was 'just an accident'. If it was a 4wd then they would be off the road by now.

I agree that there should be no need to mix kids with traffic, be it with motor bikes through to trucks making deliveries, or commodores driven by the elderly.

machines dont kill people, people and their attitudes do.
AnswerID: 111566

Follow Up By: hl - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 06:56

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 06:56
I leave near that school.
If you look at the "rush rush attitdue of many of the people dropping off their kids, you will wonder why it had not happen before. Too lazy to walk 50 meters. Same goes for mothers dropping off kids in "no stopping" zones in front of crossings. It will only take a second, they say, but there are 50 of them doing it.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 367927

Follow Up By: hl - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 07:17

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 07:17
And not to forget, people doing U-Turns in front of crossings over double unbroken lines, because they just saw a parking spot on the other side of the road.
Go to any school in the morning or afternoon, and you will see all these things happening every day!
Sorry.. had to get it off my chest.
And yes, I agree no cars should be on school grounds, especially not big 4WD's and Taragos, and MPV's and Falcons, during those times.

Cheers

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FollowupID: 367928

Follow Up By: Tim (vic) - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 11:15

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 11:15
I also live next to a school and not only women but men as well picking up kids speed through 40 km/h zones ,they park opposite double white lines on corners, park across driveways including mine and then get irate when you make them move, double parking and the list goes on.
Anyway thats my whinge for the day, have a great day
Tim
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FollowupID: 367945

Follow Up By: Disco200Tdi - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 11:27

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 11:27
Outside my daughter's school we regulary have a parking inspector to police the no standing zones.
My wife thought those rules couldn't possibily apply to her and thus got the fine she deserved. But did she bitch about it for a week.
I couldn't imagine how dangerous it would be if they actually had parking in the school grounds, all viaing for that one spot.

I think that lady got off too lightly. It about time people were actually reponsible for their OWN actions, accident or not.

John D
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FollowupID: 367948

Reply By: Member - Steve (ACT) - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 07:45

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 07:45
Our school resorted to painting a section on both sides of the crossing red, and the teachers would stand outside every morning and afternoon, and shame people that didn't comply, even parents would comment to those who park in that area.

It's such a huge "Oh, my god how embarassing to be seen parked in the red area" thing now, I can't remember the last time I saw someone attempt it!!! Some mothers glares can strike you dead.

But what really gets me irate, is the delivery driver & Rubbish truck driver that often not only drive too fast, but drive the wrong way through a one way area, and the rubbish truck is often in the morning when the kids are arriving.

My other hate while I'm on the soapbox, it seeing a mother with a car full of kids in a different school uniform to ours speeding through the 40km zone, or failing to stop at the crossing.

I'm finished everyone have a great day,

Sandy
AnswerID: 111571

Reply By: ev700 - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 09:27

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 09:27
Many vehicles have blind areas. Our Falcon has a very steep front windscreen and the A frame obscures the front quarter. The inside rear vision mirror blocks the view of the road ahead for taller drivers and the rear quarters are hard to see.

Yet Falcons have better driver's view than many cars on the rosd.

The subject accident became likely because a vehicle was on school grounds during school hours. This is usual in many schools and some also have buses on site. However, driver error was the cause.

If vehicles MUST be on site, then they must be fenced from areas frequented by students. Same as at home, if kids can get near moving vehicles then an accident is on the cards.

I regularly see near misses outside the schools my children go to. Most are caused by people in a hurry. People do not seem to comprehend the normal limitations of children. Even with police present, some drivers will bully small children trying to cross the road and yes, mothers and fourwheel drives are involved. Go figure!

We need some lateral thinking to solve the problem, but in the interim hefty fines could help to control the selfish, bullying types..

EV700
AnswerID: 111584

Reply By: BBails - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 11:46

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 11:46
Why dont people just ask someone to watch for them while they back out. If you were reversing a truck out of there you'd do it. I do so in my hilux (which is higher than most) if there are little people around. People are just too proud I think.

B
AnswerID: 111598

Reply By: Trev88 - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 12:24

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 12:24
What a tragedy for the family of the little girl and the driver of the vehicle.

My question is where was the guardian of the 5 year old (it was on a high school grounds I believe) And I assume the mother parked in a car park unloaded the child and let her out of her sight.

Sorry but if everyone had done their part Guardian looked after child, driver exercised greater care given they are in school ground and there are kids around then this would never have happened.

4WD who cares what she was driving it is about exerting care and obligation not about the car you drive.

Just my thoughts
Trevor
AnswerID: 111602

Reply By: Capt. Wrongway - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 13:13

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 13:13
First off ...the loss of any child is a tragedy.
In this case it is not a matter that a 4wd was involved or not. It could have be any car, or even a delivery truck. This happened within the school grounds! The reason this will go further is because of the school's responcibility ... Duty of care! This comes into effect once inside the school's property boundries. IMHO no private vehicles should be allowed on school property, other than teachers vehicles and service vehicles, and these should have security access and be in a restricted area where no children are permited. If this was in place ...maybe those parents who I witness, "drop and run" may have to exercise more care.
Regards,
Bazza.
AnswerID: 111614

Follow Up By: Footloose - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 14:38

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 14:38
Teachers access and parking areas should be off limit to all children. All deliveries to be done outside childrens hours, where this is not possible a member of staff should supervise the movement of the truck and any children in the vicinity.
These measures won't stop child fatalities outside the school, but will minimize them inside the grounds.
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FollowupID: 367993

Reply By: Member - bushfix - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 14:55

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 14:55
and here is the recommendation.
AnswerID: 111629

Reply By: Member - bushfix - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 14:55

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 14:55
and here is the recommendation from the inquiry.
AnswerID: 111630

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 22:04

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 22:04
I would have a permanent woody if I could get 200mtrs from my sons school even on weekends.. You stand no chance unless your 2 hours early
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FollowupID: 368062

Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 06:56

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 06:56
ha!
so you could "park and pole vault".......:)
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FollowupID: 368101

Reply By: johnsy1 - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 15:45

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 15:45
I hate to point out to the coroner that our 2000 model coralla has more blind spots than a closing time drunk.and a nissan rates better than a commodore.

All boundaries of the school should become drop and go zones policed by video cameras and the school constables could write tickets off the tapes.

Parents would also pay to have stict control over their kids when vehicles are moving be it in the home driveway supermarket carparks or schools / sports grounds.
AnswerID: 111641

Reply By: BenSpoon - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 16:39

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 16:39
I hope I've stuffed up somewhere....
The report: "run over by a four-wheel drive Nissan Patrol inside the grounds of Pittwater High School"
The inquest findings: "Four-wheel-drive vehicles should be banned from stopping within 200 metres of schoolyards with primary and infant students, the Deputy State Coroner has recommended, following an inquest into the safety of the vehicles on school grounds."

So the injury happens at a high school and the inquest proposes a solution for primary schools?
Gee its a good thing both parties had to go through the traumatic events all over again to reach that conclusion.
AnswerID: 111645

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