Too few know 20kmh rule

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

With the school hol­i­days end­ing, Waikato po­lice want mo­torists to start the new term with a blem­ish- free re­port card and re­mem­ber to ac­knowl­edge the speed limit around school buses.

Hau­raki- Pi­ako Road Polic­ing su­per­vi­sor Sergeant Dean Kaio said dur­ing the two weeks lead­ing up to the school hol­i­days, his of­fi­cers car­ried out a pre­ven­tion op­er­a­tion that showed driver knowl­edge of the 20kmh speed limit when pass­ing a signed, sta­tion­ary school bus on ei­ther side of the road was poor.

‘‘ We used marked and un­marked pa­trol cars to travel along ru­ral school bus routes to mon­i­tor be­hav­iour around school buses pick­ing up or drop­ping off chil­dren and what we saw caused us some con­cern.

‘‘Our staff were watch­ing not only driver be­hav­iour around buses but also par­ents’ be­hav­iours in and around the bus pickup points and the safe/un­safe pickup points used by the buses.’’

Kaio said po­lice of­fi­cers who saw con­cern­ing be­hav­iour would break away from the school bus and en­gage with the mo­torist as it was an ed­u­ca­tion-driven ini­tia­tive as op­posed to an en­force­ment­driven one.

‘‘A real con­cern was that all the driv­ers spo­ken to claimed no knowl­edge about the 20kmh speed limit.

‘‘Most were is­sued with a writ­ten traf­fic warn­ing, though some were is­sued in­fringe­ment of­fence no­tices, and we hope that those peo­ple we stopped and spoke to, then told their friends and fam­ily.

‘‘A real bonus has been the way the com­mu­nity has got be­hind the is­sue fol­low­ing ini­tial me­dia cov­er­age with a cou­ple of rugby clubs adding the ques­tion: ‘ What is the legal speed limit for pass­ing a sta­tion­ary school bus?’ into their quiz night ques­tions.’’

Kaio said it was through this grass­roots sup­port he hoped the mes­sage would sink in.

‘‘Last year five pedes­tri­ans died on Waikato roads and when you con­sider that road safety is no ac­ci­dent, we want to be able to give all Waikato mo­torists an ‘A’ pass for the end of next term,’’ Kaio said.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

Constable Kate Brown with Tatanui school stu­dents. Po­lice are ad­vis­ing mo­torists to re­mem­ber the speed limit around school buses.

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