Council trial to promote safe school travel for Brightwater
  • Tuesday 29 November 2016
Image of Brightwater State School students, parent and Deputy Principal with TravelSmart representative

The students of Brightwater State School will be the first to trial a new technology initiative aimed to improve school travel safety.

Expanding on council’s previous efforts to change travel behaviour, the Safe Active School Travel program aims to help children ride to school safely, whilst encouraging them to be active and easing traffic congestion.

Division 6 Councillor Christian Dickson said this is another great example of council’s forward-thinking to improve school safety and reduce congestion.

“Cycling is great for kid’s health, great for the environment and helps reduce traffic in school zones,” Cr Dickson said. 

“Taking cars off the road and promoting a healthy lifestyle helps achieve the goal of being Australia’s most sustainable region.

“As part of council’s TravelSmart program to increase the frequency of active travel to and from school, the Safe Active School Travel initiative will include cycle skills, educational materials, incentives as well as the trial of a new technology known as RideScore. 

“RideScore utilises radio frequency identification technology (RFID) tags to monitor students who choose riding to and from school as a preferred mode of travel.

“The RideScore tags can be attached to student’s helmets, bikes, scooters or skateboards, registering as they arrive or depart school, and notifies parents of their child's movements.

“The data collected during this trial will provide effective means to evaluate the entire program as well as helping to guide future planning and implementation for other schools.” 

Brightwater State School Deputy Principal Marc Baker said he was delighted that Brightwater students will be testing the technology.

“It’s a simple concept but with so many benefits,” Mr Baker said.

“From encouraging students to wear helmets and being safe riders, to keeping them fit and putting parents minds at ease knowing they’ve arrived safely to school.

“The incentive prizes provide an element of competition to keep the riders interested, as each time a student passes the reader, a trip will be registered and recorded on a database to determine when prizes are due.”

“As a catchment school, Brightwater students live locally and having the option to travel to school safely is really appealing.” 

TravelSmart is currently working to finalise the technology before the Brightwater State School trial early next year.