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Council endorses school speed zone

Council endorses school speed zone

Auckland city's first ever 40km/h school speed zone is set to be introduced at St Joseph's School in Onehunga.

Auckland City's Transport and Urban Linkages Committee today endorsed a bylaw change, reducing the speed limit on Church Street, adjacent to the school, by 10km/h during busy times before and after school.

All Auckland city schools are being assessed for their suitability to adopt a speed zone based on Land Transport New Zealand criteria.

Schools meeting the criteria will be prioritised by Auckland City according to the average speed of passing vehicles, speed-related crash records and locations. Zones will then be introduced as funding permits.

Transport and Urban Linkages Committee chairperson, Councillor Richard Simpson, says the council is committed to improving safety for vulnerable road users.

"We are determined to make it safer for children near their school. Far too many Auckland children are injured on their way to and from school," says Mr Simpson.

"Research tells us that 40km/h school zones work. Traffic slows and drivers are more aware of the presence of children. This ultimately reduces the risk of crashes around schools."

St Joseph's School was chosen to pilot the scheme after council completed the travel plan process with the school community.

A road safety study revealed a significant number of road-related injury crashes around the school as well as vehicles reaching speeds of 70km/h during morning and afternoon peaks.

The zone is expected to be introduced in May this year.

Ends

Note to editors:

A school speed zone operates at the beginning and end of each school day. A 40km/h zone can also operate at other times when there are more than 50 children crossing roads outside the school.

High visibility electronic signs are installed on each approach to the school zone, with static signs on adjacent streets clearly alerting drivers when they are entering or leaving the zone.

The signs are operated by the school principal (or delegated staff) using a timer located within a secure control box in the school.

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