Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 1:52pm |

Speed past schools - first phase of Operation Tahi

1 min read

Operation Tahi will kick off with all South Island Districts working together to reduce speed around schools as students go back to work next week.

In Canterbury 25 schools are within 250 metres of SH1, mostly in rural areas.

"Traffic will be a bit different next week," says Senior Sergeant Neville Hyland. "There will be more children and young people on bikes and on the footpaths, with more traffic congestion as families get back into 'back to school' mode, especially near schools at key times."

Drivers should remember that the tolerance around schools and preschools will be strictly enforced at 4 km/h and if speeding any more than that, they should expect a ticket.

"Enforcing speed around schools applies not only before and after school on weekdays but any time there are likely to be children at the school, such as weekends and in the summer evenings," says Neville Hyland. "History also shows that parents travelling to drop children off and staff are often amongst those caught speeding near schools."

Motorists should also be very aware of unpredictable behaviour as children learn the road rules and come to terms with their new environment. Parents should be careful to follow school practises themselves and teach and encourage their children to use approved behaviour and crossing places.

Over New Zealand in the last five years 1200 child pedestrians have been killed or injured during school terms.

Children are at risk from speeding drivers. Driving at 50km/h a driver takes nearly 20 metres to react and move their foot to the brake pedal. Therefore a child 20 meters away would be hit at almost 50km/h. It takes nearly 41 metres to stop at this speed; (nearly two cricket pitches, half the length of a football field).

"The main focus of Canterbury staff is the speed enforcement campaign around schools for the next couple of weeks," says Hyland. "The enforcement theme will be continued throughout the year."