Bay Venues is going the extra mile to ensure the road safety of children transported to its OSCAR after-school care and school holiday programmes.
“Extra vehicle safety initiatives have been introduced for all the OSCAR fleet”, says OSCAR childcare manager Melissa Ingram.
“We are carrying people’s precious cargo. We don’t want to just meet legal requirements, we want to go beyond the call of duty to ensure their safety.”
Melissa says the significant investment involves the installation of forward-facing restraints and full back-boosters, suitable for five to 13-year-olds. Staff have been trained in vehicle restraint use and all drivers have committed to an AA Defensive Driving Course. The vehicles are fully serviced six monthly.
“All this is in line with our high quality, high-standards programme,” Melissa says. Bay Venues’ safety moves have been applauded by Tauranga Plunket’s Injury Prevention Co-ordinator Donna Tuck, who’s keen to see others follow suit.
“It is great to see this company taking the lead and it would be awesome to see them inspiring others.
“There’s a lot more to this than chucking a car seat in your car and clicking a child in.” While by law, children must be in booster seats until seven years-of-age, best practise indicates they should be until they are 148cm in height – the average 12-year-old, she says. Bay Venues’ commitment to safety has been aided by independent car seat technician Hollie Waugh of Clicksafe who says parents can rest easy knowing their children are travelling in Bay Venues’ vehicles.
“Most organisations follow the requirements of the law but don’t realise NZ law does not keep our big kids safe. Far too many children are removed from restraints far too early and so are vulnerable when travelling,” Hollie says.
“Anything we can do to reduce child injuries and fatalities on NZ roads is vital. Our statistics are alarming. Pat on the back to Bay Venues.”
The Bay Venues fleet picks up children from 15 schools, who came to five after-school care programmes, and to six sites during the school holiday programmes.