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.



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Court Sends Back TPP Decision: 'Blanket Approach' In Turning Down OIA Not Lawful

"When the minister refused Professor Kelsey’s request, neither he nor his officials assessed each piece of information requested against the criteria in the act for withholding official information," Justice Collins said in his judgment. More>>


CTU Conference: Helen Kelly On Standing Down

So now I have left you a big list of jobs to do when I go, I do want to talk about leaving for a little bit. I am going to miss this job. It is, believe it or not – fun and interesting ... More>>


Members' Bills: Seymour Lodges Assisted Dying Bill

“The End of Life Choice Bill is a response to the anguish faced by a small but significant minority of people with terminal illness or who are grievously and irremediably ill, as they anticipate the prospect of intolerable suffering and the indignity of the final few days and weeks of their lives,” said Mr Seymour. More>>


Activism: SHAN Protest Against State Housing Sales

The State Housing Action Network (SHAN) led a protest in Wellington against the sale of state housing by the Government. At midday thirty to forty protestors marched from Civic Square to Parliament accompanied by the sounds of the Brass Razoo Solidarity Band. More>>

1080 Threat: Police Arrest 60 Year Old Auckland Man

New Zealand Police have arrested a 60-year-old Auckland businessman in relation to the criminal blackmail threat to poison infant formula with 1080, made public in March this year. More>>


Canterbury Transition Bill First Reading: Government Hiding From ECan Submissions

The Government has radically reduced the amount of time for public submissions on their controversial ECan bill, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods... “Their shortened timeline could mean that instead of the usual six weeks, Cantabrians get just one week to submit their views on the bill." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Our Apparent Inability To Stand Up To Australia

Alas, and only days before the first meeting between our Prime Minister John Key and the new Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull, this country is showing no sign of standing up for itself. Quite the reverse. We seem to be rolling over, and making gestures of appeasement. More>>


Health Not-So-Many Benefits: Auditor-General On Scrapped Cost-Saving Plan

The Auditor-General decided to look into the costs and benefits of HBL’s work in the health sector and, where possible, identify lessons... We found that several factors contributed to the difficulties that befell HBL and, in particular, the Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain (FPSC) programme. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news