MTAG campaign for truck bans during school crossing times on Somerville Rd Yarraville
Kids and trucks do not mix. The health and safety of our children is being jeopardised by truck traffic.
Somerville Road in Yarraville is a two lane road in a residential neighbourhood that carries 3,000 trucks every day. There are 3 primary schools and a kindergarten on, or very close, to Somerville Road with over 1,500 enrollments*.
Parents are concerned about safety, and many will not let their children walk or ride to school because they are worried about truck traffic. Parents are driving their children to school instead, which in turn is contributing to childhood obesity and reduced levels of fitness. Additional cars around schools then add further to congestion and safety concerns.
School crossing time is the most congested and slow moving time for traffic along Somerville Road. The trucks are operating at their least efficient and most polluting level, especially under heavy load as they take off from the crossings.
Kids at these schools have to walk along roads with thousands of trucks, and some classrooms are just metres from the trucks. The World Health organisation says ‘diesel exhaust causes cancer’ (1) and the City of Maribyrnong has Victoria’s highest hospital admission rates for respiratory ailments in the 0-16 age group.(4) Diesel exhaust impacts more on children because they breathe faster than adults and their developing lungs are more susceptible to fine particle pollution. (2,3)
Truck curfews must be extended to school crossing times to protect the health and safety of our children.
* St Augustines Primary School, Yarraville West Primary School, Kingsville Primary School, Merriwa Kindergarten
(1) American Cancer Council – http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/world-health-organization-says-diesel-exhaust-causes-cancer