Slower speed limit will in­crease safety

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - MIKE BAIN

A re­duc­tion in the speed limit past his school has at least one prin­ci­pal smil­ing.

Mata­mata Chris­tian School prin­ci­pal Alis­tair Paterson is sup­port­ive of the Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil’s change to its by­law which will see the in­tro­duc­tion of a vari­able 40km/h speed limit im­posed to a sec­tion of Sta­tion Rd and Smith St.

Coun­cil agreed the vari­a­tion would oc­cur be­tween 8.15am to 8.55am, and 3pm and 3.20pm on school days and will ben­e­fit Firth Pri­mary School, Mata­mata In­ter­me­di­ate and Mata­mata Chris­tian School.

Sig­nage in­clud­ing a $40,000 elec­tronic sys­tem will be put in place.

Paterson is in com­plete sup­port of the low­er­ing of the speed limit around peak times for ar­rival and de­par­tures at school.

‘‘While most mo­torists are quite care­ful any­way the speed changes help alert driv­ers to po­ten­tial dan­gers,’’ he said.

Re­search showed the av­er­age child does not de­velop the abil­ity to judge the speed and close­ness of ve­hi­cles un­til they are 14. It high­lighted dan­ger.

‘‘The fact is there is never go­ing to be a good sit­u­a­tion when a child is hit by a ve­hi­cle at any speed. It will wreck lives, the child’s, their fam­i­lies and friends, and for the driver,’’ said Paterson. the po­ten­tial

Two other ar­eas will see speeds re­duced un­der the by­law change.

The com­ple­tion of the residential de­vel­op­ment on Banks Rd, Mata­mata, since the last speed re­view has been the cat­a­lyst to re­lo­cate the cur­rent 70/100km/h speed re­stric­tion to east of O’Sul­li­van Dr. It will give the area an im­proved safety zone.

An ex­ten­sion to the 70 km/h speed limit at Hin­uera has also been ap­proved. It will help re­duce the speed of traf­fic through the small set­tle­ment.

REXINE HAWES

Low speed zones are now part of life around Smith Street schools in Mata­mata.

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