It’s an ‘accident in waiting’
Parents are frustrated their concerns have not been acted on after a child was hit by a car on Kiddle Drive on Monday afternoon.
An intermediate school child was hit by a car, suffering minor injuries, but prompting renewed calls for safety improvements from local residents.
Kiddle Drive resident and parent David MePham said the accident was ‘‘sad’’ but not a surprise.
His wife Linda raised safety issues with the Taupo District Council last year and again this year and asked for a zebra crossing instead of a traffic island. There are four schools in the area.
‘‘We want to see that something happens,’’ said David MePham.
Infrastructure manager Denis Lewis said a pedestrian refuge island was installed in 2009 to assist students to safely cross Kiddle Drive. Flashing warning signs were also installed in the vicinity.
He said NZTA had specific guidelines for pedestrian facilities, and zebra crossings and judder bars were not always the best way to change behaviours around schools.
‘‘A review of the district’s speed limits will take place at the start of 2018 and we will invite public submissions on all speed limits, including those around schools,’’ Lewis said.
Lake Taupo Christian School Principal Kevin Short said parents are asked to drive into the school to pick up or drop off their children.
Due to the nature of the road, it was ‘‘an accident in waiting’’.
‘‘Children are not predictable,’’ he said.
David MePham said there was a lack of respect for the speed limit and he had concerns for his own children who walk to school.
‘‘Some people don’t slow down, it is 80 [kmh] from the Napier to Taupo road and people don’t slow down to 40 [kmh] in the school zone.’’
He said moving the traffic Island further down the road may help as it is currently right outside the school driveway.
‘‘When it is raining parents tend to pick their kids up from school and it gets chocker with cars because parents meet their kids on the road.’’
Senior Sergeant Tony Jeurissen said police were investigating the circumstances of Monday’s accident. No charges have been laid.
David MePham standing at the crossing kids use before and after school.