Clever kids make School Rd safer

TALIA CARLISLE
Last updated 10:55 22/10/2012
children
Slow down: Te Horo School students with the new 50kmh road sign they instigated on School Rd, from left Jonathon Walker, Emma Joss, Patrick Joss, Paige Cull, Peyton Morete and Lani Gray.

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Kapiti Observer

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Six students from Te Horo School have been responsible for lowering the speed on their road from 70kmh to 50kmh.

Worried about other students' safety on the road, the students spent 20 days recording the speeds of 394 passing drivers at different times during the day in March.

Parent helper Kylie Morete said the students used speed radar guns supplied by Kapiti Coast District Council's school travel planning coordinator Brent Cherry.

"You're supposed to slow down to 50 [kmh] past the school but they were clocking people at over 80 going past," Mrs Morete said.

"Kids are walking along the street, they're outside, and people are just hooning past the school," she said.

Students Patrick Joss and Jonathan Walker analysed the resulting data, while Emma Joss, Peyton Morete, Paige Cull and Lani Gray surveyed 59 residents in the area to see if the idea was supported.

They then prepared a final report and presented it to the council's regulatory management committee on May 17.

Mayor Jenny Rowan was "most impressed" with their slideshow presentation, Mrs Morete said.

"She was impressed with how much research they had done and how professional they were. We just drove them down and they did the whole presentation themselves."

The process took about six months to get the sign approved, Mrs Morete said.

She said the students learnt a lot about changing law in that time.

"It can't just happen overnight. They had to work out all the maths and the statistics and the averages and do all that, and then learn how to do a petition.

"One of the parents went with them [door] knocking, and there were some lovely people at doors and there were some grumpy people at doors, and they learnt all that."

To see their hard work pay off was a real thrill, Mrs Morete said.

A 50kmh sign was installed on Thursday.

"They're very excited. They proudly look at the 50km zone as they go past. . . and when they've left the school, there still will be 50kms there. They've left a bit of themselves behind."

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