A Nelson police sting has caught 98 out of 100 drivers speeding past a school bus.
Luckily for the drivers it was a road safety campaign to educate drivers but police say in coming weeks they will begin to issue infringement notices.
The campaign by police and the road safety co-ordinators from Tasman and Nelson councils is aimed at improving driver behaviour around school buses.
Last Tuesday police parked a school bus on Main Rd Stoke, Tahunanui and Richmond, with the distinctive yellow School Bus signs displayed. They then monitored passing traffic, stopping and talking with any drivers who exceeded the 20kmh speed limit.
Constable Carol Heiford said police were surprised and disappointed with the results. "In 100 cars, only two drivers complied with the legal speed to pass a stopped school bus. When spoken to, only about 20 per cent knew they should have slowed to 20kmh," she said.
Most drivers spoken to thought the legal speed was 40kmh and had no idea the 20kmh speed applied to traffic on both sides of the road.
"When we stopped people we asked if they had seen the school bus and many hadn't even noticed that they had driven past a bus, let alone slowed down for it."
She said young school children were often oblivious to the dangers they faced around traffic, they are unpredictable and the risk of them making a poor decision and being hit by a vehicle was one drivers needed to be aware of.
Police had information showing that if a pedestrian was hit by a vehicle travelling at 20kmh there was a 5 per cent chance that they would be killed. At 40kmh there was a 27 per cent chance, shooting up to 90 per cent at 60kmh.
"Speed clearly makes a significant difference to the outcome. That's why the law is set at 20kmh for school buses."
Police would be out again this week with their school bus in an effort to get the message across to drivers.
- © Fairfax NZ News
What do you think Nelson's motto should be?Related story: (See story)