28 Nov 2019

Driving speeds around schools to be reduced - government

10:13 am on 28 November 2019

Driving speeds around the country's schools will be reduced to make streets safer for students walking to school.

60km/h speed limit road sign.

60km/h speed limit road sign. Photo: 123RF

Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced the changes at Owairaka School in Auckland this morning.

Speed limits will be reduced to a maximum of 40km/h around urban schools and 60km/h around rural schools.

"Our kids should have the freedom to walk and cycle to school and feel safe doing so," said Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter.

"Many parents would like their kids to get to school independently, but are understandably concerned about fast moving traffic near their school.

"Safer speeds around schools is proven to make streets safer, more attractive and more accessible for children to walk and cycle.

"On busy urban arterials and rural roads, lower speeds would primarily operate during drop-off and pick-up time only, using electronic variable speed limits signs.

"On residential urban streets, permanent speed changes would be supported by street improvements like wider footpaths and raised pedestrian crossings.

"In rural areas, a 60km/h limit outside schools will make it safer for parents and kids walking and driving in and out of the school gate."

Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announces trained pharmacist vaccinators will be able to administer the measles vaccine to people aged 16 and over.

Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Ms Genter said the speed changes would be implemented progressively with the help of local councils over the next 10 years.

The safer improvements around schools is part of a broader programme to tackle unsafe speeds across the country.

The initiative includes a new 'no surprises' approach to safety cameras that will introduce warning signs so drivers know to go slow; the transfer of safety camera responsibility from police to the Transport Agency; more cameras on high-risk roads and the streamlining the processes for determining the appropriate speed limits for regions.

Following the select committee process, legislation and rule changes to support the government's Tackling Unsafe Speeds programme are expected to be in place by mid-2020.

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