Motorists urged to look out for school children

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 07:48 28/01/2013

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Marlborough schools will be bursting with enthusiastic students as school starts this week and police are urging drivers to take extreme care around school areas.

Road policing Sergeant Barrie Greenall said drivers should keep in mind that young, excited children heading back to school created significant risk.

"No one wants to hit a child on the road and this is a time when they are particularly vulnerable.

"There will be new entrants and kids starting at new schools so they won't have an established routine."

The back to school campaign will see police focus on driver behaviour and road safety.

"Many children don't have the ability to accurately judge speed and distance and may over-estimate how much time they have to safely get to the other side."

Police will be out in force, monitoring the speed around schools, as well as making sure people are wearing cycle helmets, starting today.

Police will also be looking out for correct car seat and seatbelt use and speed passing school buses.

The legal speed for traffic on both sides of the road passing a school bus that had stopped to pick up or drop off children is 20kmh.

On Friday, associate transport minister Simon Bridges announced variable speed limit signs will be installed in rural areas, lowering the limit by up to 30kmh as part of a rural school safety programme.

The electronic signs will be installed in 16 schools this year.

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- The Marlborough Express

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