Letters : Language lessons

Last updated 09:03 02/11/2012

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Speed limits

Last week, a 6-year-old boy was run over and killed outside Cannons Creek School in Porirua.

To his parents, friends, relatives, schoolmates and all those who witnessed the accident, this little boy was a child who should have had every right to become an adult.

But to the NZ Transport Agency and the Ministry of Transport, he will merely be a statistic.

It appears that the car that hit Junior Ianuali was unlikely to have been speeding in the 50kmh zone, but few children would survive being hit by a car at that speed.

At 50kmh, the average car would travel 13 metres while the driver reacts, and then another 15m throughout the process of braking, travelling a massive 28m from the initial reaction time to coming to a halt.

If a 30kmh speed limit had been in place, the car would have travelled a mere 13m, perhaps not hitting Junior at all.

The World Health Organisation recommends 20kmh or 30kmh outside schools and play areas.

Have a look at the NZTA or Ministry of Transport website.

There is lots of information about Safer Journeys, but you will struggle to find any mention of speeds that are safe near unpredictable children.

Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges tells me that a consistent speed limit outside schools isn't feasible, as did Steven Joyce before him.

Meanwhile, Gerry Brownlee remains silent.

A consistent speed limit should be in place outside all schools.

No rural school should have more than 70kmh outside its gates, and all schools should have a consistent speed limit of no more than 30kmh during busy periods, as recommended.

Our politicians need to start behaving like adults and protect our children.

LUCINA REES

Swannanoa

Drink-driving

I noticed a small news item about a Wellington girl caught driving drunk who had an accident involving another drunk person ["Teenager run over", Express, October 31]. I presume both drunks will be told by the courts to go home and behave better.

Something more serious has to be done, as there are too many repeat offenders.

I am not perfect and no-one is, because our DNA is geared for us all to make mistakes and do wrong, and the medical profession cannot fix this problem with our DNA. Even good churches do not have the answer.

The Government will never do anything to fix the problem while it makes money through taxes associated with sales for products used by those who drink and drive, so it is up to us to stop it.

MARK REID

Blenheim

The young woman driver has been charged by the police and has been released on bail to appear in the Wellington District Court next month. She has been charged with drink-driving and the police have not yet decided whether she will face more serious charges. - Editor

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Language lessons

The Australian Government has decided to emphasise the learning of foreign languages like Chinese, Japanese and Hindi. The New Zealand Government emphasises the need to study Maori.

Time will tell which government made the correct decision.

TONY THEIL

Blenheim

School jubilee

On behalf of the Rapaura School 150th jubilee committee, I would like to thank the Marlborough community for their support of our celebrations at Labour Weekend. This was a chance for our school to reconnect and share memories with current and past pupils. We all enjoyed a wine and cheese evening on Friday night in the Rapaura Hall and luckily the sunshine came through for us on Saturday morning for our official celebrations, photos and cake cutting.

The Marlborough Convention Centre did an outstanding job in hosting us on Saturday night, with some wonderful entertainment from current school children.

The blessing service and tree planting on Sunday morning capped off a great few days.

This was a wonderful weekend of celebrations and it is particularly pleasing to get the support of local companies and individuals because, with their assistance, we were able to create a celebration that will give all those connected to Rapaura School many fond memories for years to come.

LINDSAY PARKINSON

Chairman,

Rapaura School 150th jubilee committee

- The Marlborough Express

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