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Remember the 20kph rule around school buses

Remember the 20kph rule around school buses urges Rural Women NZ

4 February 2008
For immediate release

Remember the 20kph rule around school buses urges Rural Women NZ

As schools go back after the long summer break Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is calling for drivers to take extreme care when passing school buses.

Last year three children were killed after getting off a school bus. This tragic toll represents a sharp increase in fatalities, which has seen one child killed each year between 1992 and 2001 with a further 15 seriously injured.

“It is tragic to think of the loss of young lives and the devastation for families that these statistics represent, and disturbing to see the rise in the number of deaths last year despite all the efforts put into education campaigns in schools,” says RWNZ national president, Margaret Chapman.

“Drivers are either forgetting or simply ignoring the Road Code, with fatal consequences.”

Under the Road Code drivers are required to slow to 20kph when passing a stationery school bus in either direction.

Rural Women New Zealand is also calling for better signage and warning lights on school buses.

“On narrow or unsealed rural roads it may be dangerous or impossible for tankers, trucks and cars to slow down quickly. RWNZ would like to see warning lights installed on school buses that can be seen from a distance. School buses should also display not just a “School” sign, but a 20kph sign as well, as a reminder to drivers.”

Warning lights and signs would complement the excellent programmes already being run to educate school children about road safety, and the work of community groups in supplying high visibility vests to many school children.

“Children can behave unpredictably,” says Ms Chapman. “To keep them safe drivers must take extreme care and observe the 20kph rule around school buses,” says Ms Chapman.


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