AA supports slow down near schools campaign

2 June 2006

AA supports slow down near schools campaign

The AA supports the Police’s new road safety education campaign reminding drivers to slow down near schools. The campaign commences tomorrow to coincide with the start of the school year.

“The AA believes motorists need to take particular care when driving near schools on weekdays between 7.30 am and 9am and 3pm to 4.30pm,” says AA Motoring Affairs Manager Mike Noon.
“Throughout New Zealand, at these times, children are being dropped off and collected from school. It is when they are cycling, and walking, to and from school. It is when the greatest number of our children are on the roads and it is when our children are at greatest risk. All motorists need to take particular care at these times and be watchful and prepared to stop.”
“While the AA is supportive of the Police initiative to try and reduce speed in school areas at these times, we believe the campaign will only be a success, if the campaign is focussed on ensuring drivers are reminded and learn to be alert whenever they are driving near a school at these times.”
“The AA would have been very concerned if the campaign had simply focussed on enforcement of the 50 kilometres per hour speed limit and the issuing of tickets to motorists travelling above 56 kilometres. The AA sees the campaign as an opportunity to raise driver awareness and over time change driver behaviour near schools.”
 “We therefore sought and received assurance from the Police that the campaign will be well publicised and will focus on driver education and child safety – not penalising motorists. The Police and the AA have a joint goal and that is to reduce the risk of serious injury to children near schools, to decrease driver speed and to increase driver awareness of the risks in these areas.”
“It is important for New Zealand to have a long-term solution to reduce the number of child pedestrian and cyclist casualties near schools. To achieve this the AA strongly supports the establishment of permanent 40 kilometres per hour zones at critical drop off and pick up times, around as many New Zealand schools as is possible and practicable - if not all schools. These zones exist in many overseas countries, including Australia.”
“The AA will be lobbying both the government and local councils to move towards this goal. It will likely require some changes to the road signage rules to achieve this. The goal to reduce child pedestrian and cyclist casualties near schools at the critical drop off and pick up times is more than worth the effort,” says Mr Noon.

For more information contact:

Mike Noon
The New Zealand Automobile Association Incorporated
T. +64 4 931 9984
M. +64 21 659 704
E. mnoon@aa.co.nz

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