Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Motorists slowing down but still travelling too fast

Media release
For immediate release

Motorists slowing down but still travelling too fast

Click for big version.

Motorists in the Ashburton district have slowed down when passing stationary school buses since the Either way it’s 20kbus trial began but are still travelling at twice the legal speed limit.

Preliminary data shows there has been an average drop in speeds past stationary school buses stopped for children to get on and off from 80km/h to 40km/h on the open road since flashing 20km/h signs were fitted to buses in the area two months ago.

“While this is a great start, drivers need to be aware that the legal speed limit is 20km/h - in both directions,” says the NZ Transport Agency’s Safety Programme Co-ordinator Lee Wright.

The Ashburton Police have been enforcing the campaign since October and Sergeant Stephen Burgerhout says it has been good to see a heightened awareness and good compliance among drivers in lowering their speeds.

“However, drivers still need to slow down even further. There are still drivers who are ignoring the message. We have one local truck driver who will appear in court this month after having his licence suspended; he was travelling 70km/h past a stationary school bus.”

The Either way it’s 20k is a year-long trial aimed at finding ways of tackle the problem of poor driver awareness of the speed limit around school buses and the need for drivers to slow down to keep children safe.

Ms Wright says if vehicle speeds are lower when passing stationary school buses, in the event of a child running out from behind a bus and being hit, the greater their chance of survival.

Mark Cook, Manager of Pearsons Coachlines, on whose buses the flashing 20km signs have been fitted for the trial, says his drivers have noticed a reduction in speeds past their buses, particularly on main roads and highways.

“About 90% of motorists seem to be slowing down to 20km/h. We do, however, need to keep up the campaign and keep raising awareness within our community that it is 20km/h past a stationary school bus. This is about our children, about saving lives and the police need to keep enforcing the message.”

Ms Wright says there is significant national interest in the trial. “I would receive about half a dozen emails a week from communities and councils, asking how the trial is going and when the signs will be available for use.

“If through the trial it is shown that use of the signs reduces speeds, it is hoped these will approved for legal use and will be able to be used throughout New Zealand.”

Editor’s Notes:

The trial is being conducted by TERNZ Ltd, with funding from the Road Safety Trust and support from the NZ Transport Agency, Rural Women New Zealand and Ashburton District Council.

In the last 26 years, 23 children have been killed and 47 seriously injured after being struck by cars travelling at speed.

The trial kicked off in June with a concerted effort to raise driver awareness of the legal speed limit.  For the last few months, drivers in the Ashburton district have been bombarded with the Either Way its 20K message through billboards, posters, print ads and wide media coverage. 

The second stage involved
the installation of the LED 20km/h signs on local school buses in August.   These signs automatically light up when the bus door opens, and include flashing ‘wig wag’ lights to alert drivers that a bus is stopping and of the need to slow to 20km/h.

Ashburton was chosen as the location for the trial thanks to the support and co-operation of bus operator, Pearsons Coachlines, which services 16 schools in the district.  Its fleet of 30 buses has been fitted with the active 20K signs, front and back.

The campaign also has the backing of Rural Women New Zealand, which helped conduct a pre-trial survey, highlighting very low driver awareness of the 20km/h road code rule.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>


Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>


Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>


Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>


Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>


With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>


Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>


Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news