Safe return to school is goal of police
Southern police are urging motorists, including parents, to slow down at schools when the new term starts this week.
Parents and others driving near schools at peak times are being urged to be vigilant and drive safely.
Southern District Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Steve Larking said a district-wide road policing campaign would be targeting excessive speed around schools and school bus routes at the start of the 2013 school year.
"Our aim is to prevent fatal and injury crashes involving children around schools," he said.
It was important 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."
Many high school pupils would be new drivers and it was important for them and for more experienced motorists to be aware of the risks and drive at a reduced speed.
Police would be using both speed cameras and lasers and strictly enforcing speed limits within a school zone, which is within 250 metres of school boundaries, during peak periods, Mr Larking said.
Police would also be monitoring school bus routes and enforcing the 20kmh restriction that applied for vehicles passing a stationary school bus that had stopped to pick up pupils or let them off a bus.
The campaign will run for three weeks until February 15.
The Southland Times