The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will begin a trial of variable speed limits outside rural schools in June as part of the agency's ongoing effort to reduce serious crashes and improve safety on rural New Zealand roads.
The NZTA media release (18 May 2012) says five schools in the North Island will initially take part in the trial, with the first step being the introduction of a permanent 80 km/h speed limit at four of the trial schools (with a 100 km/h speed limt remaining at the fifth school).
This will be followed up with the installation of ‘variable message’ electronic signs at each of the five schools (similar to those currently being used outside schools in urban areas). The signs, funded for the trial by the Road Safety Trust, will display the variable speed limit for each school during their key pick up and drop off times. One school willl get a variable limit of 40km/h (in line with schools in urban areas), three schools will have a variable limit of 60 Km/h and the school where a permanent 100 km/h limit remains in place, will have a variable speed limit of 70km/h.
Living Streets Aotearoa supports moves towards making the areas around all schools, rural and urban, safe so that the vast majority of children get to and from school under their own steam whether on foot or by cycle.
However, the evidence is very clear that a child hit by a car travelling at 60 km/h will almost certainly die (1). We advocate that speed limits near schools, both rural and urban, should be no more than 40 km/h and
preferably 30 km/h in line with international best practice (2).
Read the NZTA media release, 18 May 2012
See also Road Safety - speed. Facts.