Thursday, 29 January 2009 - 3:39pm |

Operation Tahi Begins Targeting Schools

1 min read

Operation Tahi, the intensive six-month road policing operation that targets driver behaviour on and around State Highway One, kicks off this week in the Southern District with a focus on 'back to school' policing.

"From Bluff to Oamaru police staff will be patrolling around schools to ensure that drivers behave responsibly. Parents need to think carefully about where they stop to drop off or pick up their children so that they do not create a hazard, and people travelling through the area need to be aware of the need to keep their speed down," said Acting Southern District Road Policing Manager, Senior Sergeant Steve Larking.

Anyone travelling over 5km an hour above the speed limit within a school zone is likely to gain the attention of staff, he said.

In Otago there are 15 schools within 250 metres of SH1 and three in Southland.

"Given the high number of schools on or near State Highway One in the Southern District, plus the high traffic volumes and speed associated with this route, we want to start Operation Tahi by reminding all drivers to take extra care around schools at this time," Senior Sergeant Larking said.

"Children are very vulnerable and unpredictable and often not aware of the traffic hazards that might exist."

"Separate from Operation Tahi, we will also be regularly policing all schools throughout the district, to encourage people to consider the safety of children as they travel close to a school," Senior Sergeant Larking said.

Between 2004 and 2008, 287 children aged between four and 18 have been killed or injured while a passenger in a vehicle crash; or as a pedestrian struck by motor vehicles within 250m of a school site in the Southern District. The key risk times are between 7.30am and 9.00am and 2.30pm to 4.00pm during weekdays (1 fatality, 38 serious injuries and 248 minor injuries).

The most vulnerable age groups for pedestrians are between six and eight years and 12 and 13. Collectively, these groups make up 71% of all child pedestrian casualties within 250m of a school site.