Ashburton District Council is urging road users to take extra care on the roads in the next fortnight as students return to school for the year.
Whether they're travelling to school by bike, scooter, bus or walking, students are likely to be excited about seeing their friends after the summer break and not necessarily thinking about road safety.
Council's Asset Management Engineer Geoff Rhodes says people need to drive defensively and be aware of the increase in traffic around school areas.
"Road users need to be on high alert and expect to see kids on scooters and pedestrians using the crossings.
"We advise parents to remind their children about travelling to school safely, whatever their mode of transport. If they cycle to school, it would worthwhile riding with them before they return to school to identify the most dangerous parts of their journey and ensure they're taking particular care.
"We also recommend parents be aware of their child's school's policies around drop-offs and parking - if there are drop-off zones, to use them and be courteous to other parents and road users.
"It's really important for people to remember that the speed limit when driving past a stationary school bus is 20km/hr."
Statistics tell us that intersections are where particular attention also needs to be paid: 380 road crashes took place at intersections in Ashburton District between 2009 and 2013; 34 of these were fatal and serious crashes. 9 people died and 35 were seriously injured. In the last five years, 43% of road crashes in Ashburton District occurred at intersections.
Mr Rhodes says people would be well advised to also be extra vigilant at busy intersections where lots of students are crossing busy roads. Ashburton College, Ashburton Intermediate, Ashburton Borough and Hampstead School students all cross very busy roads, as do many others on their daily commute.
This year's national Back to School initiative by the New Zealand Police will coincide with Ashburton District Council's Road Safety intersection campaign.