Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Palmerston North Councillors Follow the Pack

Palmerston North Councillors Follow the Pack

Lucinda Rees, NZ School Speeds


Speed limits outside schools are coming down all over the developed world, led by the World Health Organisation. It states the maximum vehicle speed a child is likely to survive in a collision is 30km/h. Yet Palmerston North councillors are weakly deferring to NZTA regulations and after hours of discussion are likely to go with a 40km/h 'variable' speed which only applies during school hours.

In most European countries the speed limit within school zones are 30km/h. In the US speed limits are in place when children are present and if you come across a school bus unloading or loading children, drivers have to stop and wait until the last child has safely been removed from danger. In New South Wales all schools have a 40km/h speed limit and there is talk that the limit will soon be dropped to 30km/h.

It seems that there are no recommended safe speeds outside schools in this country. There are speed limits all the way up to an unbelievable 100km/h, but you would struggle to find the recommended speed of 30km/h posted outside a school. In Palmerston North, some of the councillors championed by Chris Teo-Sherrell have suggested the recommended 30km/h, but the NZTA doesn't allow speeds as low as this at variable times. The only way they would be allowed to put the recommended speed limit in place is by posting 30km/h permanently outside schools - that is day and night. Initially the council voted 8 to 5 in favour of 30km/h speed limits, but since then have changed their minds and voted 8 to 6 in favour of the variable 40km/h speed.

Councillor Chris Teo-Sherrell realises that rural schools often miss out on safe speeds and states: "At the most recent meeting we agreed to include the 4 rural schools on roads for which we are the road controlling authority. Currently there is nothing we can do for the other 2 on State Highways controlled by NZTA other than advocate. I hope that if the 4 schools get 40/70 speed limit combinations that will increase pressure on NZTA to bring the others into line." This councillor is acutely aware that 30km/h is the new "safe", but it seems his hands are tied. Sadly many seem stuck the 40km/h being safe. They need to move with the times and slow speeds a notch further to actually fall into the "safe" bracket.

It is the complexity of introducing speed limits outside schools, plus this following anomaly in the law that makes our rules a farce and just plain dangerous: drivers are expected to slow to 20km/h when passing a school bus that is loading or unloading passengers. Very few drivers adhere to this rule and why would they, when they drive at excess speeds past schools. But as soon as a school bus is spotted they should skid down to 20km/h?! It just doesn't make sense.

These lengthy discussions in Palmerston North and probably other councils proves that the Ministry of Transport needs to tackle this and introduce a consistent speed limit of 30km/h outside all schools, with a maximum of 70km/h at all other times outside rural schools. Our children are worth as much as all the other children of the world. They are no tougher and just as unpredictable. They want to become independent and make their own way to and from school. Parents, grand parents, siblings, aunties and uncles of school children - all drivers on our roads don't want to kill a child, just because those who are responsible can't adopt a simple consistent solution of 30km/h outside all schools during busy times.

Drivers need consistent speed limits, so that the message finally gets out there: slow down near children - their bodies can't cope with an impact of more than 30km/h.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/NZ-School-Speeds/109007702471189

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Gordon Campbell: On Where Greece Goes From Here

As one candid British commentator tried to come to grips with why his confident prediction of a “Yes” vote in Greece has failed so resoundingly, he said that he’d made that prediction from his own viewpoint – as someone with savings to protect. But most Greek people, he suddenly realised, didn’t have that concern anymore after five years of austerity. Duh. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cabinet Presser: EQC Reform, Greece & Surplus Stimulation

Prime Minister John key discussed proposals for reform of the EQC act and the Greek economic crisis at a press conference in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

GCSB/NZSIS: Intelligence And Security Reviewers Seek Public’s Views

“We are seeking public submissions to help us determine what issues to focus on during the review,” says Sir Michael Cullen. “We want to hear your views on what the GCSB and NZSIS should be doing to protect New Zealand and how they should do it.” More>>

Education: Schools Funded To Trial Innovative Approaches

Education Minister Hekia Parata has announced the successful applicants for a new $10 million fund to encourage innovative teaching practices. “I’m delighted with the quality of the 39 projects that have won funding in the first round of the Teacher-led Innovation Fund worth a total of about $2.6 million,” says Ms Parata. More>>

ALSO:

Generation Zero: Skypath Granted Resource Consent

Generation Zero is delighted and relieved that the ‘Skypath’ walking and cycling addition to the Harbour Bridge has been granted resource consent. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Two New Auckland Special Housing Areas

Two new greenfield Special Housing Areas (SHAs) that will provide up to 1800 new homes in Auckland have been announced today by Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Mayor Len Brown. More>>

ALSO:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news