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Safer speeds for North Shore schools

Safer speeds for North Shore schools

March 7, 2005

Reduced speed zones where vehicles are limited to travelling at 40km per hour are set to go ahead in and around many North Shore City schools.

North Shore City's infrastructure and environment committee today set the wheels in motion for school speed zones to be introduced as part of the Travelwise to school programme.

Acting committee chairperson, Chris Darby says school travel studies have identified speed as a barrier for parents to allow their children to walk or cycle to school.

"School speed zones provide a safer road environment outside schools and encourage safe and active travel," says Councillor Darby.

"With an impact speed of 40km per hour a child has a 70 per cent survival rate, 15 per cent higher than if the vehicle travels 50 km per hour. Where the speed limit is 60 km per hour, a child has only a 15 per cent chance of survival if hit. School speed zones have immediate safety benefits for children.

"In emergency situations a child can panic and take a lot longer to react. This is especially dangerous when they are on the road or around moving vehicles. School speed zones will give children and drivers more time, which will not only reduce the number of accidents but improve their chances of survival if an accident occurs.

"The school speed zones give us a proactive way of reducing accidents and encourage more children to walk to cycle to school," he says.

School speed zones will only operate at peak school travel times and apply 250m from school boundaries. Usual speeds will apply outside these times. Consultation with the local school and community board will be undertaken before a school speed zone is put in place.

For more information about Travelwise to school go to the 'transport' section at www.northshorecity.govt.nz.

ENDS

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