Life was easy as a kid, you ran the school grounds and chased mates, a ball or whatever else lay in your way all lunchtime. That was until the ball went up a tree, down a hill or over the road. For the school children at Ss Michael and John in Horsham, it was the ball going over the road that was giving them headaches.
About three-and-a-half hours' drive from Melbourne, the country town's primary school is positioned right next to the Western Highway; a busy stretch of road that sees tens of thousands of trucks pass through every weekday. "It was an accident waiting to happen," says Michael Rowe, one of the teachers who patrols the play area each school day. Particularly for drivers and pedestrians making their way past the school.
When yet another ball went sailing over the fence into the blur of traffic whizzing by, one of Michael's colleagues had had enough. By applying for a TAC Community Road Safety grant and a generous donation from Australian agribusiness GrainCorp, the school and its sporty kids netted... a net.
The net now towers over where the kids play, blending in with the school buildings, but at around double the size of the fence already lining its perimeter. Capturing any ball that tried to soar by thanks to a raking boot or powerful swing of the cricket bat, now the Ss Michael and John's kids' biggest problem is deciding if hitting the net is a six or not.
The Transport Accident Commission considers community road safety grant applications of up to $25,000. Applications will close for the current round in mid-April 2015. For more information, head to the TAC Community Road Safety Grants page.