Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has set a new variable speed limit outside Kaukapakapa School on State Highway 16, north of Auckland, to improve safety for children arriving at or leaving school.
Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships Steve Mutton says a variable speed limit will lower the speed limit from 50 km/h to 40km/h during peak school traffic times, effective from 24 August 2020.
The new variable speed zone will be approximately 350m long with two electronic signs on the road outside the school displaying the reduced speed limit. Variable speed limits are an enforceable speed limit.
Kaukapakapa School has approximately 300 students from Year 1–8.
The school, through its principal, board of trustees, local MP and local police, lobbied for a school speed zone amid concerns that traffic operating speeds outside the school were too high. During public consultation most submitters, including 50 written submissions from students, indicated strong support for a variable speed limit.
Kaukapakapa School Principal Andrea Clarke says the school community is delighted with the introduction of the new speed signs.
“It has been an authentic process for our learners to work through, with our Year 5 - 8 students writing their own submissions and having Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency at an open evening to further explain the proposal. It is great for children to see how a vision, and then a shared project, can make a positive difference to a community.”
“We are extremely grateful for the investment in the safety of our pupils and know that the signs will make a significant difference to the speed of vehicles going past Kaukapakapa School.”
Around 5,000 vehicles pass the school each day (5% are heavy vehicles) and Waka Kotahi traffic data indicates that mean operating speeds are higher than the posted speed limit. State Highway 16 also doubles as an official detour for State Highway 1.
The introduction of a variable speed limit outside Kaukapakapa School is aligned to New Zealand’s Road Safety Strategy, Road to Zero 2020-2030, and its Tackling Unsafe Speeds package, which includes transitioning to lower speed limits around schools to improve safety and encourage more children to walk and cycle to school.
“Waka Kotahi thanks everybody who provided feedback and for supporting a lower speed limit to improve safety for the school children and all road users.”
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