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.

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