- School patrols operate twice daily to ensure that school children get to and from school safely;
- As motorists you must stop if one or both signs are extended onto the road;
- As pedestrians you should obey the commands of the patrols.
They operate just like school patrols, except that when the patrols are not operating the road reverts back to a normal roadway.
Speed around schools is a major public health and road safety issue. Managing speed on our roads is critical to reducing deaths and serious injuries because the consequences of all crashes are strongly influenced by speed. The fact is, the faster you go the less time you have to react and the longer it takes to stop.
Children are most at risk, especially in the morning and afternoon when they are walking and cycling to and from school.
School-aged pedestrians (5 – 18 years) accounted for 32% of Pedestrian Deaths and Serious Injuries on Auckland local roads in 2013. Pedestrian casualties (Deaths, Serious and Minor Injuries) occur predominantly at school peak times (7am – 9am and 2pm – 4pm).
Source – New Zealand Transport Agency Crash Analysis System (CAS)
Below are a few examples of how your speed can affect your reaction time:
- Driving at 50 km/h, by the time you react to an unexpected event and apply the brakes, it takes you 41 metres to stop (nearly two cricket pitches or nearly half a football field).
- Driving at 50 km/h, you travel nearly 20 metres while reacting and moving your foot to the brake pedal; if a child was 20 metres from the car, you would still be travelling close to 50 km/h when you hit the child.
- A healthy adult struck at 50 km/h has about a 40 per cent chance of being killed – for a child, the odds are much worse.
- In the urban environment, a child struck by a vehicle travelling at 60 km/hour has only a 15 per cent chance of survival. When the impact speed is reduced to 50 km/hour, the chance of survival increases to 55 per cent.
Source: NZ Police
A school speed zone is selected using NZ Transport Agency criteria that states that there must be high speeds past the school and a significant level of on-road, school related activity.
The majority of the schools on the selection list are primary and intermediate, where the risk of injury is higher than at secondary level.
Research has shown that not only does a school speed zone slow traffic, it also increases driver awareness of the presence of children, helping to reduce the risk of crashes around schools.
School speed zones are in force throughout Auckland with a 40km/h speed limit in operation on school days for a maximum period of 35 minutes before the start of school and 20 minutes at the end of the school day, beginning no earlier than five minutes before the end of the school day.
The speed limit will also apply for 10 minutes at any other time when at least 50 children cross the road, or enter or leave vehicles at the roadside. Appropriate signs will be installed to mark the beginning and end of the area where the speed limit will operate.
Please ensure that you drive to the conditions and slow down near schools.