Flash may slash dash

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 12/03/2014

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Flashing warning signs on school buses could become more common if a Government-run trial proves successful.

New Zealand Transport Agency spokeswoman Jan McCarthy said the trial, which began in Ashburton last year, would assess the safety and effectiveness of flashing 20kmh signs being placed on the back and front of buses.

"No-one wants to injure a child on the road and we urge all drivers to remember that the 20kmh speed limit around stationary school buses is there to keep our kids safe," Ms McCarthy said.

"The campaign is designed to tackle the problem of poor driver awareness of the speed limit around school buses."

The trial involves 30 school buses in Mid Canterbury, and is due to wrap up in July.

"If the trial is a success, it is expected the signs would be approved as an option for use on school buses throughout New Zealand," she said. "It is important to note that work to date on speeds of traffic passing stationary school buses indicates that signs alone are not enough to slow traffic."

Since the trial began, she said, the average speed past school buses stopped for children to get on and off had dropped from 80kmh to 40kmh on the open road.

"However, drivers still needed to slow down even further."

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- The Timaru Herald

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