Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Variable speed limit signs improve rural school road safety

Hon Simon Bridges
Associate Minister of Transport
24 January 2013 Media Statement

Variable speed limit signs to improve rural school road safety

As most children prepare to go back to school next week, Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges has today announced a significant increase in variable speed limit signs. This is part of a wider rural school safety programme launched today.

“Road safety around rural schools is a major concern in many rural communities, where parents dropping off and picking up their children must also deal with high-speed through traffic,” says Mr Bridges.

The first step in the rural school safety programme will be an increase in the number of schools trialling variable speed limit signs designed to reduce speeds during school drop-off and pick-up periods, from the current seven to 23 sites by the end of 2013.

Variable speed limits trials at rural schools began in early 2012 as part of the Government’s Safer Journeys action plan.

“The NZTA’s evaluation of the trial has shown that the variable speed limits have been effective in reducing vehicle speeds both before and after school and in improving driver behaviour around schools.”

In addition to the increase of schools conducting a variable speed limit trial next year, two other initiatives will be undertaken as part of the rural school safety programme.

Working in partnership with the Ministry of Education, local councils and the Police, the NZTA will also assess the degree of road safety risk and prioritise all other rural and peri-urban schools and identify actions needed to improve safety at the highest risk schools.

“A High Risk Rural Schools Guide will also be developed to be used by communities, schools and road controlling authorities to assess risk and identify opportunities for improving road safety at rural schools.”

The plan is to produce a two-part High Risk Schools Guide, one for rural schools and then one for urban schools.

Safer Journeys – New Zealand’s road safety strategy to 2020 – envisions a safe road system increasingly free of death and serious injury. Safe speed is an important part of this system. Through the rural school safety programme we are helping to ensure some of our most vulnerable are better protected on our roads.”


Questions and answers: variable speed limit signs

1. What is a variable speed limit sign?

It is an electronic sign which allows the speed limit to be changed locally at agreed times and to agreed speed limits.

A variable speed limit of 70km/h is being trialled at schools on roads with a 100km/h permanent speed limit. A variable speed limit of 60km/h is being trialled for schools on roads with an 80km/h permanent speed limit.

2. What schools are taking part in the variable speed limit trial?

Seven trial schools have signs installed to date. These schools are:

• Kai Iwi School, Wanganui
• Kaihere School, Hauraki District
• Myross Bush School, Invercargill
• Opiki School, Horowhenua
• Paki Paki School, Hastings District
• Te Uku School, Waikato
• Whenuakite School, Thames Coromandel

These schools were chosen based on road safety concerns expressed by the local communities. Initial workshops were carried out to identify particular issues relating to road safety at each school during drop-off and pick-up periods.

Other criteria included the school’s location (required to be on a road with either an 80km/h or 100km/h permanent speed limit) and a turning traffic risk to be present outside the school.

3. What happens next?

The NZTA and its road safety partners plan to expand the number of variable speed limit trial sites from the current seven to 23 sites by the end of 2013.

The additional schools are:

• Amisfield School, Waikato
• Ararimu School, Papakura
• Dairy Flat School, Dairy Flat
• Elstow-Waihou Combined School, Matamata Piako
• Kaimai School, Western Bay of Plenty
• Loburn School, Waimakariri
• Newstead School, Waikato
• Opoutere School, Thames Coromandel
• Pahoia School, Western Bay of Plenty
• Puni School, Waiuku
• Pyes Pa Road School, Western Bay of Plenty
• Swannanoa School, Waimakariri
• Te Wharekura o Te Rau Aroha School, Matamata Piako
• Tirohia School, Hauraki
• Waikuka School, Waimakariri
• Westmere School, Wanganui

The success at the current trial sites suggests that it is worth expanding the trial at different locations, including local roads. Further discussions are underway with these local communities before the NZTA can confirm they will be included in the trial.

For further information: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/rural-school-speed-management-trial/docs/rural-school-road-safety-qas.pdf

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Police Authority: Use Of Taser Was Disproportionate And Unjustified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer’s second use of a Taser on a mentally unwell Hokitika man was disproportionate and unjustified. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Holidays, Hekia Parata And Badlands

Hekia Parata, adieu. Reportedly, she’s been ‘passionate’ about education. She has “bravely’ led the charge on the government’s education reforms. In the past week , many of the postscripts to Hekia Parata’s career as Education Minister have sounded like a schoolteacher desperately trying to find some reason why a D student can be marked up to C minus. More>>


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news