Next week Western Bay of Plenty Police will be out in force keeping an eye on vehicle speeds outside schools, as the school year begins in earnest.
Acting Western Bay of Plenty road policing manager Senior Sergeant Wayne Hunter says many schools haven’t yet gone back, so the annual road safety campaign will officially start on Monday.
“We’re targeting primary schools predominantly, particularly those that have a history of people speeding past them – Bethlehem School is an example, as is Otumoetai Primary, and Mount Maunganui College, which is on a very busy road.”
A combination of marked and unmarked cars, as well as the speed camera vehicle, will be outside schools between 8am and 9am.
“We’ll be targeting different schools randomly. The highway patrol guys will be focusing on the rural schools as well, so they won’t be left out.”
Wayne says it’s important to remember there will only be a four kilometre tolerance for those exceeding the speed limit, which is generally 50km/h outside most schools, unless they have a variable speed sign (which generally reduces the speed to 40km/h for a short period around the start and finish of school).
It’s also important to remember to travel 20km/h past a stationary school bus.
“It’s an important one to remember, especially with new kids starting school who might not be used to the new regime and just run out across the road,” says Wayne.
He adds that traffic can be heavy during this period, and that parents need to do their bit to make it easier on everybody.
“A lot of congestion is caused by parents waiting for their kids to come out of school and parking in places they shouldn’t, such as on ‘no parking’ lines or footpaths. It makes the problem a lot worse than if they just parked down the road and walked a little bit instead.”