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More 40km/H School Zones To Be Installed

21 January 2003

The Christchurch City Council is launching four new 40km/h school zones on Wednesday 29 January.

The new zones, which require traffic to slow down to 40km/h at the beginning and end of the school day, are being installed at Our Lady of Assumption and Hoon Hay Schools (which will share a school zone on Sparks Road), Marshland School (Prestons Road) and Templeton School (which will have two zones, one on Kirk Road and one on Banks Street). The installation of the zones at the high priority schools follows the successful pilots launched at five Christchurch primary schools in 1999.

Chair of the Christchurch Road Safety Co-ordinating Committee, City Councillor Ingrid Stonhill says the zones are a result of a lot of hard work by Council staff over a long period of time.

“It’s great to see that Christchurch is leading the country with this initiative. Ideally, the zones would be outside every school in New Zealand, as there is no doubt that they make the streets safer for school children and parents in local communities.”

The school zone system enables schools to activate electronic, illuminated 40km/h signs, combined with fluorescent yellow/green static warning signs, at the beginning and end of the school day. The signs are located up to 150 to 250m on either side of the school crossing point depending on whether the school is located in an urban or a rural area. The signs are operated by an automatic timer located within a secure control box on the school premises.

Cr Stonhill says the fact that the zones only operate when necessary means that drivers respect them.

A New Zealand first, the part-time 40 km/h zones were established by the City Council and Transit New Zealand to slow traffic in school areas, and improve safety for school children when crossing busy roads near their school.

Evaluations show that the zones have been effective in slowing traffic in school areas, and the project has now moved from pilot phase to wider installation of the signs as funding permits.

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