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Drivers reminded to slow down near schools

7 February 2006

Drivers reminded to slow down near schools

A new Police initiative to encourage drivers to reduce speed around schools was launched this morning.

Police Minister Annette King and Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven were at Miramar Central School today for the start of the new school term, and to observe the new road safety campaign in action.

They say: "Statistics provide strong evidence that children are more likely to be killed than adults when struck by a car. Anything we can do to make the roads around schools safer for our schoolchildren, the better. We are convinced the lower tolerance level for speed in the vicinity of schools will save lives."

"We think this new campaign will encourage everyone to consider the dangers to children as they make their way to and from school. Children are the most vulnerable road users and we need to take more care to protect them."

In the last five years over 1200 child pedestrians have been killed or injured during school terms. The key risk times are weekdays between 7.30am and 9am and 3pm to 4.30pm when children are traveling to and from school.

Motorists need to consider that if you are driving at 50 km/h, you travel nearly 20 metres while reacting and moving your foot to the brake pedal; if a child was 20 metres from the car, you would still be travelling close to 50 km/h when you hit the child. A healthy adult struck at 50 km/h has about a 40% chance of being killed. For a child, the chance of dying is even higher.

Police will be reminding people to slow down when driving near schools, especially during the high risk times and will be rigorously enforcing speed limits within 250 meters on each side of school boundaries.

Drivers who exceed the speed limit by more than 5kmh will be issued with infringement notices. Local authorities will be encouraged to focus on parking offences around schools.

ENDS


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