Drivers warned: Be alert near schools

00:47, Jul 21 2014

Police are urging drivers to slow down around schools today, as children return to the classroom for the new term.

Southern police have launched a district-wide campaign to combat speeding around schools and along school bus routes, and are reminding drivers to be extra careful.

Acting road policing manager Senior Sergeant Steve Larking said the aim of the campaign was to prevent injuries and fatal crashes around schools.

"It's a new term and we need to be extra careful with our driving habits around schools."

Police would be using speed cameras and lasers to enforce speed limits in school zones and around school buses, he said.

School zones with reduced speed limits extend 250 metres either side of school boundaries, while the limit for passing a stopped school bus is 20kmh.

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Drivers travelling 5kmh or more over the speed limit would be ticketed, Larking said.

Parents also needed to make sure they parked safely when dropping off or picking up pupils, he said.

There would also be high school pupils driving to school this morning, as well as pupils travelling on bikes, to watch out for.

Larking said it was particularly important for drivers to be aware of younger children.

"Younger children tend to think about one thing at a time and not be so aware of other things happening around them, and can have difficulty judging the speed of moving vehicles."

Police will be monitoring school zones and school bus routes during key risk times - between 7.30am and 9am, and between 2.30pm and 4pm.

The campaign will run until August 1. 

The Southland Times