Australian drivers put schoolchildren at risk

Recent article in The Wellingtonian (May 15) bemoans the speed at which kiwi drivers go past schools. The New Zealand Police “Speed Kills Kids” campaign has stated that if you go more than 5km over the limit within 250m of a school you’ll be ticketed. This year they have caught over 9000 motorists going over 54km/h. The article cites some schools where the rate is 13 vehicles per 100 and 8 vehicles per 100 over the limit.

Across the ditch, Australian drivers legally drive past their schools at 60km/h because that is the standard urban speed limit. If the local publicity and statistics used to base this campaign are to be believed, it must be carnage over there.

If these campaigns are to be really effective they have to be credible. A person of close acquaintance was ticketed for driving more than 5km over the limit going past a school. The rural school was on a road with a 70km/h limit (how dangerous is that?) and the ticket was given in mid-January (school holidays).

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